Anticipating Friday's Employment Report

By Doug Short
May 1, 2013

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The most important economic news this week is Friday's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This monthly report contains a wealth of data for economists, probably the most significant in the near term being the month-over-month change in Total Nonfarm Employment (the PAYEMS series in the FRED repository).

Today we have the April estimates from ADP (119,000 new jobs) and TrimTabs (67,000 new jobs). These are extremely weak numbers.

The ADP estimate is a decline from their March guess of 131K, which is a downward revision from 158K. Likewise their estimate for February was revised lower from 237K to 198K. The TrimTabs Investment estimate of 67K new jobs in April was less than half of their 156K estimate for March.

Here is a visualization of the three series over the past twelve months, ending with the ADP and TrimTabs estimates for April.

A key difference among the three is that the ADP and the BLS series are subject to substantial revision. Here, for example is an illustration of the ADP revisions since January of last year.

The estimate for Friday's nonfarm jobs number is 155K. has a slightly lower 145K.

For a sense of the critical importance of nonfarm employment for the economy, see my Big Four Economic Indicators, which I'll be updating on Friday after the BLS employment report on April data is published.







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