The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, financial issues and Southeast regional trends.
- BLS Handbook of Methods
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Congressional Budget Office
- Economic Data - FRED® II, St. Louis Fed
- Office of Management and Budget
- Statistics: Releases and Historical Data, Board of Governors
- U.S. Census Bureau Economic Programs
- White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room
January 06, 2006
The Employment Report: On Average We're Just Right
I think it's fair to say we weren't expecting this one. From CNNMoney:
Hiring slumped in December though the economy created 2 million jobs for the second straight year, the government said Friday, in a reading that was mostly weaker than Wall Street had expected.
The economy created 108,000 jobs last month, compared with a revised gain of 305,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reported. The December gain was the smallest of the year aside from September and October, when Hurricane Katrina slowed hiring.
Kash thinks the report is disappointing, but it's awfully hard to focus on that 108 number in isolation of the 305 number -- or to be very confident about what the next set of revisions will bring. In any event, the people in the MSM Rolodexes seem pretty clear about what it all means. Again, from CNNMoney:
... the revision to November job growth and the higher-than-expected wage growth could mean the Fed will raise rates at its meeting in March as well.
Anthony Chan, senior economist with JPMorgan Asset Management, said that he believes that overall the job report makes an end to rate hikes more likely.
"This report makes the Federal Reserve graceful exit from the policy arena a lot more palatable," he said. "It's difficult to argue that the Fed has much more heavy lifting left."
Analysts said the latest jobs data meant odds were rising that the Federal Reserve was near ending the rate-rise cycle it initiated in mid-2004. The U.S. central bank has raised the federal funds rate 13 times to 4.25 percent.
"The report is probably a shade on the weak side and it increases the chance that the Fed is more likely to stop raising rates at 4.75 percent at the middle of the year, rather than going higher," said Cary Leahey, senior managing director at Decision Economics in New York.
"These figures suggest that growth is stable but not extremely strong," said Nigel Gault, head of US research at Global Insight, a consultancy. "These figures should add to the conviction in financial markets that the Fed will soon be able to stop raising rates. "
So, the Fed will be impressed enough to put an end to rate hikes due to "the revision to November job growth", or because the report was "a shade on the weak side", or because job "growth is stable but not extremely strong." Sounds like a consensus.
UPDATE: Barry Ritholtz agrees with Kash: "Labor Markets Continue to Underperform." General Glut calls US job growth "amazingly weak." pgl still frets that the employment-population seems stuck in the mud. Mark Thoma concurs that the labor market is "not as robust as would be expected in a recovery." But Calculated Risk suggests that growth for 2005 "seems solid." And The Skeptical Speculator has this, from Reuters: "Overall, the employment figures imply a relatively strong hiring outlook."
Tim Duy breaks down what it all might mean for monetary policy. Michael Mandel maintains his lonely focus on wages in the tech sector, and likes what he sees.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to blogs that reference The Employment Report: On Average We're Just Right:
- For Middle-Skill Occupations, Where Have All the Workers Gone?
- A Closer Look at Employment and Social Insurance
- Wage Growth of Part-Time versus Full-Time Workers: Evidence from the CPS
- Wage Growth of Part-Time versus Full-Time Workers: Evidence from the SIPP
- Data Dependence and Liftoff in the Federal Funds Rate
- What's behind Declining Labor Force Participation? Test Your Hypothesis with Our New Data Tool
- On Bogs and Dots
- The Changing State of States' Economies
- What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?
- Seeking the Source
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- Business Cycles
- Business Inflation Expectations
- Capital and Investment
- Capital Markets
- Data Releases
- Economic conditions
- Economic Growth and Development
- Exchange Rates and the Dollar
- Fed Funds Futures
- Federal Debt and Deficits
- Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy
- Financial System
- Fiscal Policy
- Health Care
- Inflation Expectations
- Interest Rates
- Labor Markets
- Latin America/South America
- Monetary Policy
- Money Markets
- Real Estate
- Saving, Capital, and Investment
- Small Business
- Social Security
- This, That, and the Other
- Trade Deficit