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16 Reasons I'm Not Buying The Employment Report.................do you ?

Anonymous Coward
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United States
02/07/2013 11:45 AM
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16 Reasons I'm Not Buying The Employment Report.................do you ?
I went through the January data one last time with a fine tooth comb. I fail to see what got everyone so excited, beyond the upward revisions to the back data. That only proves that productivity has been weaker than initially thought. And the income from those upward job revisions has probably already been spent. But as I highlighted yesterday, the broad-term trends are slowing down and doing so discernibly.

There were a variety of sobering developments in the latest data report.

1) Let's not forget that the 157k headline print was below consensus and 22% lower than the 201k average of the prior three months. That's the problem with upside revisions — they go on to exaggerate the slowdown.

2) Private payrolls have slowed for two months running — 256k in November to 202k in December to 166k in January. This was actually the lowest print in four months and fully 26% lower than the three-month average. So get with the program — the pace of private sector job creation is slowing down, not speeding up.

3) Temp agency employment fell 8k in January, the first decline since last September. This sector is widely viewed as a leading indicator of labor demand.

4) Self-employment in the nonfarm sector plunged 189k, the sharpest decline since last February and down now in three of the past four months. This too is a leading indicator and moving in the wrong direction.

5) Average hourly hours for production and nonsupervisory fell 0.3% in January after a flat December. Another leading indicator heading in the opposite direction as escape velocity.

6) As for incomes, or lack thereof, average weekly earnings dipped 0.1% for production and nonsupervisory workers.

7) Household employment came in at the grand total of +17k. That is an 85% haircut from the average of the prior three months. Why all the exuberance over this report. The peak in Household employment was in October. How has that been missed by the masses, especially since it is this metric that leads at turning points?

8) The population and payroll comparable number from the Household Survey showed a 351k plunge, the second such large decline in the past three months.

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