2013 Economic Calendar
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Employment Situation
Released On 9/6/2013 8:30:00 AM For Aug, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change162,000 104,000 175,000 150,000  to 234,000 169,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level7.4 %7.4 %7.3 % to 7.5 %7.3 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change161,000 127,000 178,000 150,000  to 230,000 152,000 
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change-0.1 %0.0 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.4 %0.2 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.4 hrs34.5 hrs34.3 hrs to 34.5 hrs34.5 hrs

Highlights
There was conflicting information between headlines with the payroll survey and household survey. Payroll jobs were slow while the unemployment rate dipped-and revisions were significant. Total payroll jobs in August gained 169,000, following a revised increase of 104,000 for July (originally up 162,000) and after a revised advance of 172,000 for June (previous estimate was 188,000). The market median forecast was for a 175,000 gain for August. The net revisions for June and July were down 74,000. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent in July. Expectations were for a 7.4 percent unemployment rate.

Turning back to payroll data, private payrolls rose 152,000, following a gain of 127,000 in July (originally 161,000). Analysts projected a 178,000 boost.

Private service-providing jobs gained 134,000 after a 144,000 increase in July. The August advance was led by retail trade (up 44,000), health care (up 33,000), professional & business services (up 23,000), and food services & drinking places (up 21,000).

Goods-producing jobs rebounded 18,000 in August after declining 17,000 the month before. Manufacturing gained 14,000 in August after falling 16,000 in July. Construction was flat after dipping 3,000. Mining rose 3,000 in each of the two latest months.

Government jobs rebounded 17,000 in August after dropping 23,000 in July. Given that the rebound was in local government education, it may have been due to seasonal adjustment issues from teacher hiring or lack of firing.

Wage growth improved. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent in August after no change the month before. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain. The average workweek was up slightly to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in July. Analysts forecast 34.5 hours.

Despite the unemployment rate being the lowest since December 2008, the details were not pretty. Turning to detail for the household survey, household employment in August fell 115,000 after jumping 227,000 in July. The labor force dropped 312,000, following a 37,000 dip in July. The number of unemployed declined 198,000 after a drop of 263,000 in July. Essentially, declining labor force participation is at least partly behind the easing unemployment rate.

The August employment report was mixed. But the downward revisions to July and June payroll numbers will have the doves within the Fed arguing for continued asset purchases or at least very minimal tapering. Odds are it will be "taper lite" in the FOMC statement on September 18 with more than usual guidance.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Nonfarm payroll employment grew less than expected in July even though the unemployment rate came in lower than expected. Total payroll jobs in July increased 162,000 after gaining 188,000 in June and increasing 176,000 in May. The unemployment rate eased to 7.4 percent in July from 7.6 percent the month before. Turning back to payroll data, private payrolls increased 161,000 after rising 196,000 in June. Wage growth turned negative in July but followed a strong month before. Average hourly earnings slipped 0.1 percent in July after a 0.4 percent jump the prior month. The average workweek was 34.4 hours, down from 34.5 in June.

Definition
The employment situation is a set of labor market indicators based on two separate surveys in this one report. The unemployment rate equals the number of unemployed persons divided by the total number of persons in the labor force, which comes from a survey of 60,000 households (this is called the household survey). Workers are only counted once, no matter how many jobs they have, or whether they are only working part-time. In order to be counted as unemployed, one must be actively looking for work. Other commonly known figures from the Household Survey include the labor supply and discouraged workers.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/42/13/84/55/36/77/58/29/610/2211/812/6
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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