Blue World Employment Situation Report Analysis
Release Date: Usually on the first Friday of the month
Release Site: www.bls.gov
Market Impact: Usually Very High
Management Value: Critical
Date: Friday November 3, 2017
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MIXED…and probably still by hurricanes. The headline looked great, but details just couldn’t hold up their end and in some cases make little sense, but the overall leaning of this report has to be positive due to some specific sector data.
At the top of the Establishment Survey we see 261k net new hires. The Private Sector contributed 252k to that total, and we enjoy net upward revisions of 90k to the last two months. The Total Unemployed retreated and the Diffusion Index readings for the Private Sector and Manufacturing are very strong at 59.6 and 62.2 respectively, where 50 is break even. So far, so good.
Now it gets weird. The Labor Force got smaller…by a lot. Total Employed fell, the Not in Labor Force tally spiked and went solidly back over 95M, and the Participation Rate plummeted .4 to tie its 2017 low of 62.7. All we can say is, “That ain’t normal.” We just don’t see single-month moves of that magnitude in the Participation Rate. Much of the volatility is in industries most impacted by the storms like Hospitality/Food Service, etc.
So, where do we pick up on the big positives? An economy with lateral movement demonstrates constantly conflicting economic data. An economy starting to reveal a direction, positive or negative, begins to establish consistency when the reports are analyzed as a body instead of taken one at a time and day-by-day. This is, of course, the whole point of the Blue World Economic Index®. What we see lately is some emerging agreement between reports in key industries.
Hard data lagged anecdotal survey optimism for many months, but now performance metrics from the Manufacturing sector, for example, are beginning to validate that optimism. This morning’s Employment and Factory Orders reports fell right in line by adding a material number of jobs while extending the work week and requiring more overtime hours. Headline and detail readings in the Factory Orders report posted impressive gains in key areas. We see similar dynamics in Services and Construction.
The picture is not yet clear, and there are substantial internal and external risks that can upset this apple cart, but we can perceive some focus creeping in when triangulating all these information sources. For more on that please review the Blue World Economic Index® report which posted yesterday.
The Fed? We feel “prophylactic” hikes in anticipation of inflation is dangerous policy this early in an actual recovery and there is no hint of it yet. We remain opposed to another rate hike this year but the headlines in this report may feed the hawks if they choose to ignore the current lack of evidence, including weak wage pressure in today’s release. Moving rates too fast is one of the internal risks we consider material.
The next Employment Situation Report is scheduled for release on Friday, December 8th and, of course, The BWEI® report will post earlier that same week. Until then, have a great November and a very happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned…
Release Site: www.bls.gov
Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The official release site should be cross referenced. The analysis represents the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, LTD. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on its analysis.
©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Friday, November 03, 2017