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08 Jan. 2016 Expect Robust Jobs Data, but Downside Risk for Wages (Publication Centre)

The underlying trend in payroll growth is running at about 225K-to-250K, perhaps more, and the leading indicators we follow suggest that's a reasonable starting point for our December forecast. The trend in jobless claims is extraordinarily low and stable--the week-to-week volatility is eye-catching, especially over the holidays, but unimportant--and indicators of hiring remain robust. The unusually warm weather in the eastern half of the country between the November and December survey weeks also likely will give payrolls a small nudge upwards, with construction likely the key beneficiary, as in November.

30 Sept. 2015 No Slowdown in Key Jobs Data, But Expect "Weak" ADP Today (Publication Centre)

Barely a day passes now without an email asking about "evidence" that the U.S. economy is slowing or even heading into recession. The usual factors cited are the elevated headline inventory-to-sales ratio, weak manufacturing activity, slowing earnings growth and the hit from weaker growth in China. We addressed these specific issues in the Monitor last week, on the 23rd--you can download it from our website--but the alternative approach to the end-of-the-world-is-nigh view is via the labor market.

6 July. 2016 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Should Rebound, but How Far? (Publication Centre)

The shock of the weak May payroll report means that the June numbers this week will come under even greater scrutiny than usual. We are not optimistic that a substantial rebound is coming immediately. The headline number will be better than in May, because the 35K May drag from the Verizon strike will reverse.

2 July. 2015 Strong Jobs Numbers a Decent Bet, but Reasons for Caution too (Publication Centre)

Most of the indicators we follow point to another very strong payroll report today; we look for a 260K gain, matching May's performance. The best single leading indicator, the NFIB small business hiring intentions number, points to a massive 320K leap in private payrolls, as our first chart shows.

2 Apr. 2015 Most signals point to another strong jobs number (Publication Centre)

We are taking our spring break starting tomorrow so it makes sense to preview the employment report today. To forecast payrolls, we start with the underlying trend -- mean reversion is the most powerful force in payrolls, most of the time -- and then look for reasons why this month's number might deviate from it.

8 June. 2015 Expect more jobs reports like May's, piling pressure on the Fed (Publication Centre)

The winter hit to payrolls is now ancient history. Private employment rose by an average of 273K per month in the second half of last year, so May's 262K has restored normal service, more or less. History strongly suggests the number will be revised up, so we are happy to argue that the data convincingly support our view that the weakness in late winter and early spring was temporary, substantially due to the severe weather.

25 Jan. 2016 Last Week's Data Reinforce Brazil's Doves - Rates are Now on Hold (Publication Centre)

The bad news on economic activity keeps coming for Brazil. The formal payroll employment report-- CAGED--for December was very weak, with 120K net jobs eliminated, compared to a 40K net destruction in December 2014, according to our seasonal adjustment. The severe downturn has translated into huge job losses. The economy eliminated 1.5 million jobs last year, compared to 152K gains in 2014. Last year's job destruction was the worst since the data series started in 1992. The payroll losses have been broad-based, but manufacturing has been hit very hard, with 606K jobs eliminated, followed by civil construction and services. Since the end of 2014, the crisis has hit one sector after another.

11 Jan. 2016 Payroll Growth Will Slow in Q1, But Wages Will Accelerate (Publication Centre)

Payroll growth will slow in the first few months of next year, but wages will accelerate. This might seem counter-intuitive after the ballistic December jobs number coupled with sluggish-looking hourly earnings, but the devil, as always, is in the details. On the face of it, the trend in payroll growth is accelerating at a startling pace, captured in our first chart. But we very much doubt this reflects a real shift in the underlying pace of employment growth, for two reasons. First, payroll growth in recent years has tended to accelerate in the fourth quarter, even when indicators of both labor demand and the pace of layoffs--the two sides of the payroll equation--have been flat, as in Q4.

8 Dec. 2015 Small Firms Are Struggling to Recruit, and Price are Nudging Up (Publication Centre)

The release of the NFIB survey at 6.00AM eastern time this morning--really, they need a new PR advisor--doubtless will bring a flurry of headlines about rising wage pressures, with the expected compensation index rising by a startling three points to a new post-crash high. But this is not news, nor is the high, stable level of hiring intentions; these key labor market numbers were released last week in the NFIB Jobs Report, which appears the day before the official employment report. The data are simply extracted from the main NFIB survey.

27 September. 2016 Jobs Seen as Plentiful, but Payroll Gains Will Remain Low (Publication Centre)

In contrast to surveys of manufacturing activity and sentiment, the Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence rose sharply in August, hitting an 11-month high. People were more upbeat about both the current state of the economy and the outlook, with the improving job market key to their optimism. The proportion of respondent believing that jobs are "plentiful" rose to 26%, the highest level in nine years.

20 March 2018 Technocrats with International Credentials get China's Top Jobs (Publication Centre)

China announced the appointment of key political and financial jobs yesterday.

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Economists react to the May jobs report: "Unambiguously Positive" (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest Jobs report

10 Nov. 2015 Focus on Older Workers in Jobs Report Misses the Bigger Picture (Publication Centre)

Investors and market observers of a relatively bearish persuasion argued over the weekend that the details of the October employment report were less encouraging than the headline, principally because the household survey showed that all the job growth, net, was among older workers, defined as people aged 55-plus. This, they argue, suggests that most of the increased demand for labor was concentrated in low-paid service sector jobs, where older workers are concentrated, perhaps reflecting retail hiring ahead of the holidays. Such a wave of hiring is unlikely to be repeated over the next few months, so payroll growth won't be sustained at its October pace.

NEW YORK TIMES - U.S. Economy Added 257,000 Jobs in January - Unemployment Rate at 5.7% (Media Centre)

The economic momentum evident late last year carried into 2015, the Labor Department said Friday, with American employers adding 257,000 jobs in January as wage growth rebounded and more people joined the workforce

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Economists react to the May jobs report: "Unambiguously Positive" (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest Jobs report

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Economists react to the May jobs report: "Unambiguously Positive" (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest Jobs report

3 July 2017 Three Jobs Reports in Nine Weeks set to Shift Market Rate Expectations (Publication Centre)

The next nine weeks bring three jobs reports, which will determine whether the Fed hikes again in September, as we expect, and will also help shape market expectations for December and beyond.

CNBC - Fed will hike rates in June, regardless of jobs data (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, speaks about how the U.S. Federal Reserve will react to the latest jobs data.

BUSINESS INSIDER - Top economist throws shade at the 'research institute' that releases a widely followed jobs number (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdsonon why the ADP report is simply not a reliable indicator

NEW YORK TIMES - U.S. Economy Added 271,000 Jobs in October - Unemployment Rate at 5% (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on today's Payroll report

MARKETWATCH - So many jobs, so little growth. What gives? (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. hiring

The Hill - Superb jobs data ensures Dems will have their hands full in midterms (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson discussing U.S. Employment

FINANCIAL TIMES - Jobs data give Bank of England leverage to keep rates low (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. employment

16 March 2018 Kuroda Prepares Parliament to Foot the BoJ's Exit Bill (Publication Centre)

Governor Kuroda dropped further hints in speeches earlier this week that interest rates will be going up. He discussed methods of exit, in loose terms.

17 Dec. 2015 Why are Retail Sales Losing Momentum? (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, recent retail spending surveys have been puzzlingly weak in light of the pick-up in employment growth, still-robust real wage gains and renewed momentum in the housing market. We think those surveys are a genuine signal that retail sales growth is slowing, and expect today's official figures to surprise to the downside. But retail sales account for just one-third of household spending, and, in contrast to the early stages of the economic recovery, consumers now are prioritising spending on services rather than goods.

17 July 2017 September Rate Hike Odds Have Fallen, but it's not Over Yet (Publication Centre)

After four straight sub-consensus core CPI readings, we think the odds now favor reversion to the prior trend, 0.2%, over the next few months.

2 September. 2016 Downside Risk for Hourly Earnings - Two Calendar Quirks Coincide (Publication Centre)

The key market risk in the August employment report is the hourly earnings number. The consensus forecast is for a 0.2% month-to-month increase, in line with the underlying trend, but the balance of risks is firmly to the downside.

2 Sept. 2015 August ADP and Official Payrolls Likely to be sub-200K (Publication Centre)

As a general rule, the best forecast of ADP payrolls in any given month is the official estimate for private payrolls in the previous month. This partly reflects the simple observation that payroll trends, once established, tend to persist, but it also is a consequence of ADP's methodology. The ADP number is generated from a model which combines both data collected from firms which use ADP for payroll processing, and lagged official data. The latter appear to be more important in determining in the month-to-month swings in the ADP number. ADP does not hide the incorporation of lagged official data in its model--you can read about it in the technical guide to the report--but neither does it shout it from the rooftops.

19 January 2017 Wage Growth Won't Force The MPC to Hike Rates This Year (Publication Centre)

The most striking aspect of yesterday's labour market report was the pick-up in the headline three month average year-over-year growth rate of average weekly wages, to a 14-month high of 2.8% in November, from 2.6% in October. Although still low by pre-recession standards, wage growth now is close to the rate that might worry the MPC.

16 Jan. 2015 Private Consumption Jumped in Brazil in Q4, But Only Temporarily (Publication Centre)

This week's economic activity data for Brazil have been upbeat, indicating that the economy is recovering after a recession in the first half of 2014, but at a very gradual pace.

12 July 2017 Wage Growth Likely will Remain too "Anaemic" for the Governor this Year (Publication Centre)

Mark Carney emphasised in his Mansion House speech last month that he wants wage growth to "begin to firm" from recent "anaemic" rates before voting to raise interest rates.

20 July. 2016 Job Growth Faded Pre-Referendum, but the Real Hit Lies Ahead (Publication Centre)

Today's labour market data look set to show that the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate held steady at just 5% in May, unchanged from April's reading.

12 Jan. 2016 Why are Payroll Gains So Strong Relative to GDP Growth? (Publication Centre)

The combination of astounding fourth quarter payroll numbers and weak GDP growth has prompted a good deal of bemused head-scratching among investors and the commentariat. The contrast is startling, with Q4 private payrolls averaging 276K, a 2.4% annualized rate of increase, while the initial estimate for growth seems likely close to 1%. Even on a year-over-year basis, stepping back from the quarterly noise, Q4 growth is likely to be only 2% or so.

11 June. 2015 Autos Will Lift May Retail Sales - Core a Mystery as Redbook Drops (Publication Centre)

We can be reasonably sure that the headline May retail sales number will look quite strong, thanks to the surge in auto sales reported by the manufacturers last week. Sales of cars and light trucks soared past industry analysts' expectations to a nine-year high, rising 7.5% from their April level.

11 July 2017 Unemployment Likely Fell Again in May, Despite the Slowing Economy (Publication Centre)

May's labour market figures, released on Wednesday, likely will have something for both the doves and the hawks on the MPC , who have been wrangling over whether to reverse last year's rate cut.

12 Nov. 2015 Slight Weakening in Wage Growth Won't Delay the MPC (Publication Centre)

Markets were right to conclude that September's slightly weaker average weekly wage figures will have little impact on the MPC's decision on when to raise official interest rates. Fundamentally, wage pressures are building and likely will contribute to pushing CPI inflation back to its 2% target towards the end of 2016.

14 December 2016 Labour Data Set to Show a Clearer Deteriorating Trend (Publication Centre)

Today's labour market figures likely will bring further signs that firms are recruiting more cautiously and limiting pay awards, due to still-elevated economic uncertainty.

15 Jan. 2016 Modest Retail Sales Gains in Brazil in Q4, But Outlook Remains Murky (Publication Centre)

Wednesday's better-than-expected, but still grim, November retail sales report in Brazil does not change the miserable underlying trend. Sales volumes rose 1.5% month-to-month, much better than expected, and the biggest increase in a year. But the year-over-year rate fell to -7.8% from -5.7% in October. The details underscored our view that the month-to-month jump in sales was due mostly to temporary factors.

15 Dec. 2015 Dip in Wage Growth Hasn't Lessened the Pressure on the MPC (Publication Centre)

Investors kicked expectations for the first rise in official interest rates even further into the future when last month's labour market data, revealing a sharp fall in wage growth, were released. But a closer look at the official figures reveals that labour cost pressures have remained robust, cautioning against making a snap reaction if even weaker wage data are released on Wednesday.

14 Jan. 2016 Inflation Outlook Still Could Push MPC to Hike Before the Summer (Publication Centre)

Markets' judgement that the Monetary Policy Committee--which meets today--will wait until 2017 to raise interest rates overestimates the role that the drop in oil prices and slower GDP growth will play in its decision-making. The inflation risks emanating from the increasingly tight labour market still could motivate a tightening before the summer.

16 Dec. 2015 The Cyclical Rise in Labour Participation Has Run Its Course (Publication Centre)

Rapid growth in labour supply has enabled the U.K. economy to grow quickly over the last three years without generating excessive wage or inflation pressure. The rise in the participation rate--the proportion of those aged over 16 in or looking for work--has been critical to this revival. But the rise in the participation rate largely has reflected cyclical factors rather than a sustainable upward trend, and the downward pressure on participation from demographic factors will build over the coming years.

29 August 2017 Hurricane Harvey will Depress September Output and Payrolls (Publication Centre)

The terrible scenes from Texas will play out in the economic data over the next few weeks.

8 Dec. 2015 Productivity Growth Still too Weak to Prevent Inflation Rebound (Publication Centre)

By any yardstick, U.K. productivity growth has been terrible in recent years. Output per hour exceeded its pre-recession peak only in the second quarter of 2015, and it has grown at an average annual rate of just 0.6% this decade. U.S. productivity growth has been equally dismal since 2010. But the U.K.'s performance is more worrying, because the productivity slump during the recession suggested scope for a period of catch-up. In the U.S., by contrast, productivity surged during the recession as firms cut headcount sharply.

8 Dec. 2014 - Falling Unemployment Will Trigger Tightening: Payrolls Will Soar (Publication Centre)

The first thing to ask after a payroll number far from consensus is whether it is supported by other evidence. We are happy to argue that November's blockbuster report is indeed consistent with a range of other numbers, notwithstanding the unfortunate truth that there are no reliable indicators of payrolls on a month-to-month basis.

8 August 2017 Watch the NFIB Survey for Clues to Job Growth, Capex and Inflation (Publication Centre)

The NFIB survey of small businesses today will show that July hiring intentions jumped by four points to +19, the highest level since November 2006. The NFIB survey has been running since 1973, and the hiring intentions index has never been sustained above 20.

7 April 2017 Mixed Signals for March Payrolls, but 200K Seems a Fair Bet (Publication Centre)

Everything but the weather points to a strong headline payroll number for March. Our composite leading payroll indicator has signalled robust job growth since last fall, and the message for March is very clear.

8 November. 2016 If Clinton Loses, Most U.S. Forecasting Models Will be Wrong (Publication Centre)

We are not political analysts or psephologists, but we note that each of the nine separate election forecasting models tracked by the New York Times suggests that Hillary Clinton will be president, with odds ranging from 67% to greater than 99%.

9 Dec. 2014 - NFIB Says Wage Pressure is Rising: ECI Data Seem to Agree (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the NFIB survey's hiring intentions number is the best guide to the trend in payroll growth a few months ahead. But today's November NFIB report will bring no new information on job growth because the key labor market elements of the survey have already been released.

9 Oct. 2015 FOMC Members Sticking to Previous Positions, Mostly (Publication Centre)

The FOMC minutes showed both sides of the hike debate are digging in their heels. As the doves are a majority--rates haven't been hiked--the tone of the minutes is, well, a bit do vish. But don't let that detract from the key point that, "Most participants continued to anticipate that, based on their assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for economic activity, the labor market, and inflation, the conditions for policy firming had been met or would likely be met by the end of the year." Confidence in this view has diminished among "some" participants, however, worried about the impact of the strong dollar, falling stock prices and weaker growth in China on U.S. net exports and inflation.

9 Nov. 2015 The Unemployment Rate Is the Key Measure of Labour Market Slack (Publication Centre)

The Monetary Policy Committee continues to assert that it can leave interest rates at rock-bottom levels, even though the unemployment rate has returned to its pre-recession level, because it understates the extent of slack in the labour market. If that hypothesis were correct, however, the relationship between the unemployment rate and wage growth would have weakened. But this clearly has not happened, as our first chart shows.

9 Nov. 2015 Fed Set to Hike in December, and then Faster than Markets Expect (Publication Centre)

At a stroke, the October payroll report returned the short-term trend in payroll growth to the range in place since 2011, pushed the unemployment rate into the lower part of the Fed's Nairu range, and lifted the year-over-year rate of growth of hourly earnings to a six-year high. The FOMC has never quantitatively defined what it means by "some further improvement in the labor market", its condition for increasing rates, but if the October report does not qualify, it's hard to know what might fit the bill. We expect a 25bp increase in December.

6 October 2017 Political Risks are Rising in the Eurozone, Should Markets Care? (Publication Centre)

Political risks have been making an unwelcome comeback in the Eurozone in the past month. In Germany, last month's parliamentary elections--see here--has left Mrs. Merkel with a tricky coalition- building exercise.

30 Sept. 2015 Mexico's Labor Market Reflects Its Upbeat Domestic Story (Publication Centre)

Mexico's data over the last few weeks have confirmed our view that private consumption remains the key driver of the current economic cycle. Solid economic fundamentals, thanks to stimulative monetary policy and structural reforms, have supported the domestic economy in recent quarters. Falling inflation has also been a key driver, slowing to 2.5% by mid-September, a record low, from an average of 4% during 2014.

25 Jan. 2016 Will Housing Debt Concerns Resurface at the Bank? (Publication Centre)

Data this week look set to emphasise that heat is returning to the housing market, again. The Financial Policy Committee--FPC--still has additional tools it could deploy to cool housing demand. But the root cause of surging house prices remains very cheap debt. Alongside the inflation risk posed by the labour market, the case for the MPC to begin to raise interest rates to prevent a widespread debt problem is becoming compelling.

23 February 2018 Earnings Set to Beat Consensus this Year (Publication Centre)

The knee-jerk reaction of the stock market to the unexpectedly high hourly earnings growth number for January was predicated on two connected ideas.

22 June 2017 Falling Oil Prices will hit Mining Capex, but no Repeat of 2014 to 16 (Publication Centre)

The renewed slide in oil prices in recent weeks will crimp capital spending, at the margin, but it is not a macroeconomic threat on the scale of the 2014-to-16 hit.

21 July 2017 BoJ to Allow Foreign Tightening to Ease Japanese Policy, for now (Publication Centre)

Governor Kuroda commented yesterday that he doesn't think Japan needs more easing at this stage. If he means that the BoJ does not have to change policy to provide more easing then we think he is right, on two and a half counts. First, Japan is likely to receive a boost under its current framework as external rate rises exceed expectations, driving down the yen.

26 June. 2015 Rapid Income Gains and Lower Saving Mean Strong H2 Spending (Publication Centre)

the past few observations make clear. Real spending jumped by 0.5% in March, rebounding after its weather-induced softness in February, before stalling again in April. Then, in May, the s urge in new auto sales to a nine-year high lifted total spending again, driving a 0.6% real increase.

26 September 2017 Is the Most Important Data--Wage Growth--Forecastable? (Publication Centre)

Markets will be hyper-sensitive to U.K. data releases following the MPC's warning that it is on the verge of raising interest rates.

3 November 2017 Expecting Rocketing Payrolls, AHE and Unemployment to Disappoint? (Publication Centre)

We expect a 350K print for October payrolls today. The ADP report was stronger than we expected, suggesting that the post-hurricane rebound will recover more of the ground lost in September than we initially expected.

11 July 2017 Small Businesses are Still Optimistic, but a Correction is Due (Publication Centre)

Before last November's election, movements in the headline NFIB index of activity and sentiment among small businesses could be predicted quite reliably from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released in advance of the main survey.

28 May. 2015 The Oil Hit Matters for Capex, but Not for the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the very low and declining level of jobless claims is a good indicator that businesses were not much bothered by the slowdown in the pace of economic growth in the first quarter. The numbers also help illustrate another key point when thinking about the current state of the economy and, in particular, the rollover in the oil business.

20 Mar. 2015 Earnings and Treasuries at Risk, but the ECB's QE is a Wild Card (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, we would have no hesitation calling for substantially higher long Treasury yields and a lower earnings multiple as the Fed raises rates. History tells us that you fight the Fed at your peril, as our first two charts show.

10 Sept. 2015 Soaring Job Openings Signal Further Labor Market Tightening (Publication Centre)

We expected a modest correction in the number of job openings in July, following the surge over the previous few months, but instead yesterday's JOLTS report revealed that openings jumped by a mind-boggling 8.1% to a new record high. In the three months to July, the number of openings soared at a 35% annualized rate. As a result, the Beveridge Curve, which compares the number of openings to the unemployment rate, is now further than ever from normalizing after shifting out decisively in 2010.

03 Feb. 2016 Cyclical Optimism, but Structural Pessimism, on EZ Unemployment (Publication Centre)

Data yesterday showed that the downward trend in Eurozone unemployment continued towards the end of last year. The unemployment rate fell to 10.4% in December from 10.5% in November, extending an almost uninterrupted decline which began in the first quarter of 2013.

01 Mar. 2016 Worst is Over for Manufacturers, but no Real Rebound Yet (Publication Centre)

The worst is over for manufacturers, we think. The three major forces depressing activity in the sector last year--namely, the strong dollar, the slowdown in China, and the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector--will be much less powerful this year.

11 Feb. 2016 March is Still in Play, but Only if Data and Markets Cooperate (Publication Centre)

If Fed Chair Yellen's objective yesterday was to deliver studied ambiguity in her Testimony--and we believe it was--she succeeded. She offered plenty to both sides of the rate debate. For the hawks, she noted that unemployment is now "...in line with the median of FOMC participants' most recent estimates of its longer-run normal level", and that inflation is still expected to return to the 2% target, "...once oil and import prices stop falling".

04 Mar. 2016 Downside Risks for Payrolls and Wages, but Trends are Solid (Publication Centre)

The underlying trend in payroll growth probably has not changed significantly from the 228K average monthly gains recorded last year. But the average hides wide variations, some triggered by seasonal adjustment problems and others by one-time weather effects or unavoidable and random sampling error. January's below-trend 151K increase was likely a victim of seasonal problems, because payroll gains in recent years have tended to be soft at the start of the year after outsized fourth quarter increases.

04 Feb. 2016 Are Jobless Claims Starting to Rise? If so, Where Will They Stop? (Publication Centre)

The pace of layoffs might be picking up. Our first chart looks pretty convincing, but it's much too soon to know for sure. The claims data from mid-December through late January are subject to serious seasonal adjustment problems, partly because Christmas falls on a different day of the week each year and partly because the exact timing of post-holiday layoffs varies from year-to-year.

11 December 2017 200K-plus Payroll Gains Set to Continue, Wage Gains Will Rise (Publication Centre)

First things first: Payroll growth likely will be sustained at or close to November's pace.

10 Dec. 2014 - Mortgage Demand Has Recovered its October Plunge, but Still Low (Publication Centre)

Demand for new mortgages to finance house purchase has rebounded somewhat in recent weeks, following an alarming dip in the wak e of October's stock market correction. At the low, in the third week in October, the MBA's index of applications volume was at its lowest since mid-February, when the reported numbers are substantially depressed by a long-standing seasonal adjustment problem.

11 Dec. 2014 - How Far Did Falling Gas Prices Depress November Retail Sales? (Publication Centre)

Demand for new mortgages to finance house purchase has rebounded somewhat in recent weeks, following an alarming dip in the wak e of October's stock market correction. At the low, in the third week in October, the MBA's index of applications volume was at its lowest since mid-February, when the reported numbers are substantially depressed by a long-standing seasonal adjustment problem.

13 June. 2016 Further Thoughts on May Jobs, and Why June Won't be Great (Publication Centre)

We are still annoyed, for want of a better word, by the May payroll numbers. Specifically, we're annoyed that we got it wrong, and we want to know why. Our initial thoughts centered on the idea that the plunge in the stock market in the first six weeks of the year hit business confidence and triggered a pause in hiring decisions, later reflected in the payroll numbers.

13 June 2017 NFIB Headline Likely to Decay, but Capex and Jobs Readings are Strong (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, we can predict movements in the headline NFIB index from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released a day ahead of the official employment report, and, hence, about 10 days before the full NFIB survey appears.

14 December 2017 Korea's Public Sector Jobs Drive Fizzles out. BoK to Hike Anyway (Publication Centre)

The Korean unemployment rate edged back up to 3.7% in November from October's 3.6%. Young graduates--the usual suspects--accounted for most of the rise.

16 June. 2016 Don't Fret Over One Jobs Report, Says Yellen, Doing Exactly That (Publication Centre)

If the Fed really believed its own rhetoric--"Inflation is expected... to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"--it would have raised rates yesterday, given the very long lags between policy action and the response from the real economy.

16 November. 2016 Statistical Quirks Will Flatter September's Jobs Report (Publication Centre)

Today's labour market figures likely will show that the Brexit vote has inflicted only minimal damage on job prospects so far. The unemployment rate likely held steady at 4.9% in the three months to September, and the risk of a renewed fall in unemployment appears to be bigger than for a rise.

1 November 2017 Rising Industrial Output Will Lift Chile's IMACEC, Jobs Wil Follow (Publication Centre)

Industrial output in Chile struggled late in the third quarter, falling 1.3% month-to-month in September. The year-over-year rate, calendar and seasonally adjusted, rose 2.4% in September, down from a revised 5.3% in August.

05 Feb. 2016 Downside Jobs Risk as Seasonals, Weather Effects Combine (Publication Centre)

We are pretty bullish about the prospects for the economy this year, but we try not to let our core view interfere with our take on the individual indicators. And our analysis suggests that the odds strongly favor a "disappointing" headline payroll number today; we have revised down our forecast to 160K from our previous 175K estimate.

17 May. Wage Growth to Continue to Rise, Despite Jobs Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The 21K rise in the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate between November and February confirmed last month that the U.K.'s period of fantastically strong growth in employment has ended. Timelier indicators, however, suggest unemployment is stabilising, not on the cusp of a major increase.

1 September. 2016 Will Construction Rebound in Q3, Despite Weaker Jobs Numbers? (Publication Centre)

Last fall and winter, when the weather was warmer than usual--thanks largely to El Nino--construction employment rocketed. Between October and March, job gains averaged 36K, compared to an average of 20K per month over the previous year. When these strong numbers began to emerge, we expected to see a parallel acceleration in construction spending.

10 July 2017 Jobs Gains to Push Unemployment Below 4%, the Fed will Hike Further (Publication Centre)

The gratifyingly strong 222K headline June payroll gain, if repeated through the second half of the year, will put unemployment below 4% by December.

11 July. 2016 Jobs Overstate Economic Volatility, Wages Will Soon Matter More (Publication Centre)

Whatever you might think about the state of the U.S. economy, it is not as volatile as implied by the past few months' payroll numbers. Assuming steady productivity growth in line with the recent trend, the payroll data suggest the economy swung from bust to boom in one month, with not even a pause for breath.

10 April 2017 Falling Unemployment Matters More than the Weather-hit Jobs Number (Publication Centre)

The BLS offered no estimate of the impact on payrolls of the snowstorm which hit the Northeast during the March survey week, but it appears to have been substantial. All the leading indicators pointed to a solid 200K-plus reading, more than double the official initial estimate, 98K.

6 July 2017 Downside Risk for June ADP Jobs, but Official Data Will be Stronger (Publication Centre)

Today's June ADP employment report likely will undershoot the 183K consensus, but we then expect the official payroll number tomorrow to surprise to the upside.

6 June 2017 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Up Sharply. Summer Payrolls to Surge? (Publication Centre)

The 6.4-point rebound in the May ISM non-manufacturing employment index, to a very high 57.8, supports our view that summer payroll growth will be strong. On the face of it, the survey is consistent with job gains in excess of 300K, as our first chart shows, but that's very unlikely to happen.

8 December 2017 Robust Jobs Data Will Emphasize the Labor Market's Tightness (Publication Centre)

We expect to see a 180K increase in November payrolls

22 Apr. 2016 Jobs Data Suggest--But Don't Guarantee Faster Q2 Growth (Publication Centre)

Looking back at the numbers over the past few weeks, it is pretty clear that the gap between the strong payroll reports and the activity data widened to a chasm in the first quarter. We now expect GDP growth of about zero--the latest Atlanta Fed estimate is +0.3% and the New York Fed's new model points to 0.8%--but payrolls rose at an annualized 1.9% rate.

6 December 2017 ADP to Report Strong November Jobs, but will Overstate Official Data (Publication Centre)

The ADP measure of private employment hugely overstated the official measure of payrolls in September, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, but then slightly understated the October number.

9 March 2017 ADP Report Raises the Chance of a Blockbuster February Jobs Number (Publication Centre)

We expected a consensus-beating ADP employment number for February, but the 298K leap was much better than our forecast, 210K. The error now becomes an input into our payroll model, shifting our estimate for tomorrow's official number to 250K; our initial forecast was 210K.

5 May. 2016 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Up, But are Prior Declines a Threat? (Publication Centre)

Markets and the commentariat seemed not to like the April ADP employment report yesterday but we are completely indifferent. We set out in detail in yesterday's Monitor the case for expecting a below consensus ADP reading--in short, the model used to generate the number includes lagging official data, some of which were hugely depressed by the early Easter--so it does not change our 200K forecast for tomorrow's official number.

25 Feb. 2015 Yellen Bullish on Growth and Jobs - "Patient" Set to Go in March? (Publication Centre)

Chair Yellen's Testimony sought clearly to tell markets that the Fed has upgraded its view on growth, and the state of the labor market. After reading the first few paragraphs, which focussed clearly on the good news, though peppered with the usual caveats, the door was open for the section on policy to signal unambiguously that the Fed is close to its first tightening.

5 Dec. 2014 - Brace for Anything in Jobs Data (Publication Centre)

We often have quite strong views on the balance of risks in the monthly payroll numbers. November is not one of those months. We can generate plausible forecasts between about 50K and 370K, and that's much too wide for comfort. This is probably a payroll release to sit out.

5 January 2018 Robust December Jobs, Strong AHE and a New Low for Unemployment? (Publication Centre)

In the wake of yesterday's ADP report, which showed private payrolls up 250K in December, we have revised our forecast for today's official headline number up to 240K from 210K.

22 July. 2016 July Payrolls Won't Excite Markets, but Hourly Earnings Should (Publication Centre)

This is the final Monitor before we hit the beach for two weeks, so want to highlight some of the key data and event risks while we're out. First, we're expecting little more from the FOMC statement than an acknowledgment that the labor market data improved in June. After the May jobs report, the FOMC remarked that "...the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed".

27 Apr. 2015 Accelerating high-wage job growth to lift hourly earnings? (Publication Centre)

We have argued for some time that the hourly earnings data, which take no account of changes in the mix of employment by industry or occupation, have been depressed over the past year by the relatively rapid growth of low-paid jobs.

21 Oct. 2015 Are Payrolls Slowing Because the Pool of Labor Has Evaporated? (Publication Centre)

One of the possible explanations for the slowdown in payroll in growth in recent months is that the pool of labor has shrunk to the point where employers can't find the people they want to hire. That's certainly one interpretation of our first chart, which shows that the NFIB survey's measure of jobs-hard-to-fill has risen to near-record levels even as payroll growth has slowed.

26 September 2017 Brazil's Labor Market is on the Mend, But Challenges Persist (Publication Centre)

The Brazilian labour market is slowly healing following the severe recession of 2015-16. The latest employment data, released last week, showed that the economy added 35K net jobs in August, compared to a 34K loss in August 2016.

13 Jan. 2016 How Fast Can the Fed Allow Wages to Rise? (Publication Centre)

The leading wage indicators in the December NFIB survey, released in full yesterday--some of the labor market components appears a few days in advance, ahead of the official payroll report--all point to a substantial acceleration over the next six-to-nine months. Our first two charts show the NFIB jobs-hard-to-fill number and expected compensation numbers, respectively, compared to the rate of growth of hourly earnings. The message is extremely clear.

27 Mar. 2015 No Hit from Oil Sector's Troubles Yet - Gains Elsewhere Offsetting? (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the plunge in capital spending on equipment in the oil sector could cost about 300K jobs over the course of this year. Adding in the potential hit from falling spending on structures, which likely will occur over a longer period, given the lead times in the construction process, the payroll hit this year could easily be 500K, or just over 40K per month.

10 Mar. 2015 Can the Uptick in New Home Sales be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from today's February NFIB report on small businesses--hiring intentions and the proportion of firms with unfilled job openings--were released last week, as usual, ahead of the official jobs report.

12 Nov. 2015 NFIB Points to Rising Capex, and Modest Increases in Core Inflation (Publication Centre)

To the extent that markets bother with the NFIB survey at all, most of the attention falls on the labor market numbers. But these data--hiring, compensation, jobs hard-to-fill--haven't changed much in recent months, and in any event most of them are released the week before the main survey, which appeared yesterday. The message from the labor data is unambiguous: Hiring remains very strong, employers are finding it very difficult to fill open positions, and compensation costs are accelerating.

2 February 2018 January Job Gains Likely Solid, Calendar Effects to Subdue AHE? (Publication Centre)

The case for expecting a robust January jobs number is strong, but it is not without risks.

2 Mar. 2015 If Real Wages are Key for the Fed, Policy Will Change Very Soon (Publication Centre)

If recent labor market trends continue, the four employment reports which will be released before the June FOMC meeting will show the economy creating about 1.1M jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.3%, almost at the bottom of the Fed's estimated Nairu range, 5.2-to-5.5%.

29 Apr. 2016 German Labour Market are Solid, but Likely Will Disappoint Soon (Publication Centre)

German labour market data continue to break records on a monthly basis. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2% in A pril, with jobless claims falling 16,000, following a revised 2,000 fall in March. March employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, down slightly from 1.3% in February, but the total number of people in jobs rose to a new high of 43.4 million.

7 Oct. 2015 Are Payrolls Slowing Because There's No-one Left to Hire? (Publication Centre)

In the absence of market-moving data today, we want to take a closer look at the labor market, and, specifically, the idea that payroll growth is slowing because firms cannot find staff they consider suitably qualified for the jobs available. Every indicator of labor demand, with the sole exception of manufacturing-specific surveys, is consistent with very rapid payroll growth, well in excess of 200K per month.

9 February 2017 Markets finally wake up to political risks in France (Publication Centre)

The twists and turns of the French presidential election campaign continue. François Fillon was tipped as favourite after he won the Republican primaries. But Mr. Fillon now is struggling to keep his campaign on track after allegations that he gave high paying "pro-forma" jobs to his wife as an assistant last year. The socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, has been hampered by the unpopularity of his party's incumbent, François Hollande, and has lost ground to the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

9 January 2017 Wage Growth is Emerging as a Clear and Present Inflation Threat (Publication Centre)

December's payroll numbers were unexciting, exactly matching the 175K consensus when the 19K upward revision to November is taken into account. Some of the details were a bit odd, though, notably the 63K jump in healthcare jobs, well above the 40K trend, and the 19K drop in temporary workers, compared to the typical 15K monthly gain.

7 November. 2016 Wage Gains Will Focus Fed Minds (Publication Centre)

If the Fed needed further encouragement to raise rates next month, it arrived Friday in the form of solid jobs numbers, a new cycle low for the broad unemployment rate, and a new cycle high for wage growth.

8 August. 2016 Wage Gains Set to Slide in August, Delaying the Fed Until December (Publication Centre)

We were happy to see the 255K gain in July payrolls, but we remain nervous about the sustainability of such strong numbers. The jump in employment was very large relative to some of the key survey-based indicators of the pace of hiring, even after allowing for the 29K favorable swing in the birth/ death model, compared to a year ago, and the 27K jump in state and local government education jobs, likely due to seasonal adjustment problems

7 July. 2016 June ADP Set to be Constrained by Weak May Payroll Data (Publication Centre)

We have argued frequently that the ADP employment report is not a reliable advance payroll indicator--see our Monitor of May 4, for example-- so for now we'll just note that it is generated by a regression model which includes a host of nonpayroll data and the official jobs numbers from the previous month. It is not based solely on reports from employers who use ADP for payroll processing, despite ADP's best efforts to insinuate that it is.

28 August. 2015 August Payrolls Will Support Fed Inaction - Unemployment Won't (Publication Centre)

We argued yesterday that the August payroll number is unlikely to be a blockbuster, thanks to a combination of problems with the birth/death model and the strong tendency for this month's jobs number to be initially under-reported and then revised substantially higher. But these arguments don't apply to the unemployment rate, which is derived from the separate household survey.

BLOOMBERG - And Now It's Time to Talk About the Fed (Media Centre)

With today's jobs report confirming a strong labor market recovery, it's time to turn our attention back to the Fed

Bloomberg - Pantheon Chief Economist Worries Wages May Pressure Fed (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses the impact of improving wage growth and inflation on the Federal Reserve ahead of today's February jobs report. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

MARKET WATCH - Yellen's message this week? Rate hikes are coming (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest Jobs report

BLOOMBERG - Shepherdson: Lessons Learned on Fiscal Policy, Austerity (Media Centre)

Founder and chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Fiscal Policy and the upcoming jobs report.

Careers

Careers at Pantheon Macroeconomics

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Jobless Claims Rise Slightly in April 18 Week (Media Centre)

Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on today's Inital Jobless Claims data

BUSINESS INSIDER - ECONOMIST: 'The wage number is wrong, payrolls are strong.' (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Employment

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