2011 Economic Calendar
POWERED BY  econoday logo
Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar   |   

Employment Situation  
Released On 4/1/2011 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change192,000 194,000 200,000 150,000  to 310,000 216,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level8.9 %8.9 %8.7 % to 9.1 %8.8 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change222,000 240,000 230,000 
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change0.0 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.2 %0.0 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.2 hrs34.3 hrs34.3 hrs34.2 hrs to 34.3 hrs34.3 hrs
Nonfarm Payroll - level130.515 millions

The employment picture may not be robust yet but at least it appears to have moved up one or two notches. Payroll employment has sustained somewhat stronger gains, the unemployment rate is still below 9 percent. However, wage growth is lagging and anemic. Overall payroll employment in March gained 216,000, following a revised 194,000 increase in February and a 68,000 rise in January. The March boost came in higher than the consensus forecast for a 200,000 increase. The January and February revisions were up net 7,000. Private nonfarm payrolls posted a 230,000 increase in March, following a 240,000 rise in February. Analysts had projected a 190,000 boost for March.

By major sectors, job gains were seen in both goods-producing and service-providing sectors. Goods-producing jobs advanced 31,000, following a 73,000 boost in February. For the latest month, manufacturing jobs grew 17,000 after a 32,000 gain in February. However, construction employment dipped 1,000, following a 37,000 boost the prior month. Mining jumped 14,000 in March.

Private service-providing jobs increased 199,000 after a 167,000 rise in February. Health care rose 44,500, temp help gained 28,800, leisure & hospitality increased 37,000, and retail rose 17,700.

Government jobs fell 14,000, following a 46,000 drop in February.

The earnings picture in March is disappointing as average hourly earnings were flat, matching February. The latest posted lower than the market estimate for a 0.2 percent gain. The average workweek for all workers was 34.3 hours, equaling analysts' forecast.

On a year-ago basis, overall payroll job growth held steady at up 1.0 percent in March.

Turning to the household survey, the unemployment rate edged down to 8.8 percent in March from 8.9 percent the month before.

Today's report is mixed. The job numbers are moderately good-for this recovery. But they are still soft relative to typical recoveries. And average hourly earnings point to sluggishness in the labor market. While job numbers topped expectations, the wage figure probably put the overall report at about expectations. The labor market is improving net, but very slowly.

Consensus Outlook
Nonfarm payroll employment in February grew by 192,000, following a revised 63,000 rise in January and a 152,000 gain in December. Private nonfarm payrolls were somewhat stronger, increasing 222,000 in February, following a 68,000 boost in January. A disappointment in the employment report was in earnings as average hourly earnings were flat in February, following a 0.4 percent jump the previous month. Turning to the household survey, the unemployment rate edged down to 8.9 percent from 9.0 percent in January. Most of the decrease in unemployment was for those unemployed 15 weeks or more, suggesting an increase in discouraged workers dropping out of the workforce.

The most closely watched of all economic indicators, the employment situation is a set of monthly labor market indicators based on two separate reports: the establishment survey which tracks 650,000 worksites and offers the nonfarm payroll and average hourly earnings headlines and the household survey which interviews 60,000 households and generates the unemployment rate.

Nonfarm payrolls track the number of part-time and full-time employees in both business and government. Average hourly earnings track employee pay while the average workweek, also part of the establishment survey, tracks the number of hours worked. The report's private payroll measure excludes government workers.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. In order to be counted as unemployed, one must be actively looking for work. Other commonly known data from the household survey include the labor supply and discouraged workers.  Why Investors Care
During the mature phase of an economic expansion, monthly payrolls gains of 150,000 or so are considered relatively healthy. In the early stages of recovery though, gains are expected to surpass 250,000 per month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
The civilian unemployment rate is a lagging indicator of economic activity. During a recession, many people leave the labor force entirely, so the jobless rate may not increase as much as expected. This means that the jobless rate may continue to increase in the early stages of recovery because more people are returning to the labor force as they believe they will be able to find work. The civilian unemployment rate tends towards greater stability than payroll employment on a monthly basis. It reveals the degree to which labor resources are utilized in the economy.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/72/43/44/15/66/37/88/59/210/711/412/2
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

powered by  [Econoday]