Anticipating Friday's Employment Report

June 5th, 2013

by Doug Short

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 May estimates from ADP (135K new jobs) and TrimTabs (135K new jobs). These are weak numbers.

The ADP estimate came in below the estimate of 157K, and last month's 119K was revised downward to 113K.

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

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 from January of last year through March 2013.

The estimate for Friday's nonfarm jobs number is 175K. has a slightly lower 170K.

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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