US Unemployment better than expected. Job creation much worse than expected???

Discussion in 'Economics' started by applejuice, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Hi.

    Would like to have some input from more experienced guys as to how to interpret this news:

    Fri Apr 6 | 1:30pm

    Non-Farm Employment Change
    Actual: 120K
    Forecast: 207K
    Previous: 240K

    CBN say:
    "The economy created a meager 120,000 jobs in March, much lower than the 200,000 forecast by economists, who were left scratching their heads over the impact the unseasonably warm winter had on the statistics and other anomalies."

    Unemployment Rate
    Actual: 8.2%
    Forecast: 8.3%
    Previous: 8.3%

    CBN say:
    "US unemployment dropped unexpectedly to 8.2 percent in March, the lowest rate in more than three years, despite a mixed picture on hiring and apparent weakness in the retail sector."

    Can someone help me to understand the apparent inconsistency between these two headline figures? Bad news on the one hand, good news on the other - and both economic indicators cover the same period of time (March, here)

    Provisionally it seems the market took this to be BAD news... ZN rose suddenly from 129'265 to 130'265.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts, really appreciated.

    I see The NFP are subject to dramatic revisions. My guess is the 120k figure is just wrong - they just got it wrong.
    "Chief among them was the spectacular collapse of hiring in the retail sector, which did not seem to tally with strong sales and spending reported in the sector."
    So on the one hand we have better than forecast 8.2% unemployment AND stronger retail sales, but the NFP claiming only 120k were added due largely to weakness in retail... don't add up.
  2. more people left the labor force (i.e. people who were looking for a job before but have since stopped looking for one, are considered out of the labor force). this means there are "more" people with jobs on a relative basis so the unemployment rate is down
  3. 1) It's easier to "manipulate" the unemployment rate than it is to do the same with the change in the jobs number for political and public relations purposes. :( :mad:
    2) Since the bonds/notes rallied, there's greater focus on the job creation number being less than expected. :eek:
  4. thanks - that's an interesting consideration.
    This being an election year too
  5. Actually both are very easy to manipulate. The job creation numbers get manipulated by "seasonal adjustments"

    While the unemployment rate itself cannot be manipulated (youre either in or out of the labor force) you can easily change what it means to be in the labor force (like they did in the 1980's) which is why we way underestimate the unemployment today.

    The market knows why the unemployment rate is down, and its not for a good reason (less people in the labor force) both numbers were horrible.
  6. last ten times they have announced on a day when the market was closed the move in futures have always been exaggerated. Sort of like hitting a man when he is down, or too drunk to get back up and fight.

    The numbers don't mean that much. It's the bet on how everybody will react to it that makes the quick buck.

    Everything is already factored in.

    Playing the numbers is for the pros and IMHO not a good idea for the little retail trader.
  7. Bob111


    100K jobs is just plain pathetic number. you need at least 350K to have unemployment numbers down 'for real'. market got it right. market got it right about drop in unemployment rate. even the general media is saying that the numbers are f**d cause people simply giving up on jobs. about time for some "reality check" after 15%+ straight up run
  8. Fri Apr 6

    "Since the NoFuckingPayroll was nailed on the cross today, expect it to rise on the 3rd day"
  9. Eight


    We need to create more jobs than what we are doing currently just to break even.. I can't recall if it's 150,000 or 250,000 on average to replace jobs lost for normal ongoing reasons like aging and disability.

    When I think of the American economy currently it brings to mind Hugo Chaves' Venezuela. The Public Sector is everything and nobody cares about the Private Sector at all. It's actually utterly irrational but somehow it continues on and voters support it.
  10. clacy


    I think 200k is considered the number needed to keep up with population growth.

    Of course that is out the window, when so many people are dropping out of the labor pool. You can still have UE numbers going down, even though there is no job creation to speak of. You also have to consider that many will be going on SS or disability because they know they are unemployable. That is also shrinking the labor pool.
    #10     Apr 7, 2012