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April Unemployment Report: UPDATE!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 3, 2009 7:26 AM |

UnemploymentBefore this morning’s numbers were released, I published:

The widely anticipated April Unemployment Report will be released at 8:30 am EST. Concerns over this report have increased over the last two days given a report from ADP on Wednesday which forecast an increasing rate of decline in employment. Additionally, Weekly Jobless Claims increased yesterday.

Over and above the actual report, the Bureau of Labor has consistently revised prior months’ numbers worse than initially reported. Aside from the headline print, a thorough analysis needs to focus on these revisions. I will report back shortly after 8:30pm with the actual numbers!!

Last month’s numbers and expectations for this report are as follows:
**note: I have now included the actual numbers which were reported at 8:30 a.m.:

Unemployment Rate
    March 8.1%
    expected 8.5%
    April Report 8.5%

The UnderEmployment Rate is 15.6% as reported by Bloomberg! This rate incorporates unemployed (not working, but looking for work), underemployed (working part-time, but would prefer full-time), and unemployed, having given up looking for work. These last two groups are not included in the reported 8.5% unemployment rate.

Non-farm Payroll
   March Report 651k
   April expected 658k
   April Report 663K
   January Revision from 655k to 741k

Avg Hourly Earnings
   March Report +.2%
   April expected +.2%
   April Report +.2 

Avg Hourly Workweek 
   March Report 33.3 hours
   April expected 33.3 hours
   April Report 33.2 hours

Analysts hit the numbers, as they came in as expected. Wow! Are the analysts that good or are these numbers being “managed” or “massaged” so as not to overly upset the markets?  Well, we did have a significant revision to January’s report. Let’s dig deeper!!    

Call me paranoid, but when a January Non-Farm Payroll number is revised from a loss of 655k jobs to 741k and no revision is provided for February, I immediately ask why. 

The fact that the average hourly workweek actually declined by .1 from 33.3 hours to 33.2 hours is very meaningful. With job losses increasing, and the remaining workers actually working fewer hours, this is an indication of declining flow of orders.

No improvement in average hourly earnings, so no expectation of improvement in consumer spending.

Market reaction: bonds slightly lower. Stocks initially popped higher but are now selling off slightly. 

The WSJ reports: Recession Job Losses Top 5 Million

Aside from these numbers, in regard to the G-20, the big winner seems to be the International Monetary Fund. It is reported that the IMF will receive $1 trillion to allocate to emerging economies and developing countries. It was not widely reported that some of those funds had already been committed to the IMF, so it is not “new” money. The old double counting trick!!


  • TeakWoodKite

    Unemployment Report will be released at 8:30 am EST.

    …along with Orange furtures… 🙂

    so after Breamer left the place in dis-array,
    all the other folks looked to get even?

    I have always been of the opinion that the IMF is a rathole
    Might one surmise that the G20 nations are to pony up
    equal shares? Or will China and other creditor nations look to the US to use the IMF as a way to wash the money?

    OT; LD in the last month as I watch the stock bug on the MSM channels, one moment and in th blink of an eye it is chage 20 point or in the space of changing channels is will change 30 points up or down. I don’t recall seeing “microbursts” before in the stock bug’s
    behavior. It is very erratic and ill at ease. While is just an observation, is there any value to looking at the
    viscosity of trades? (the blood pressure per say)

    As a percentage, where on the slide rule does this job loss correlate with the late 20’s?

    Always look forward to reading your stuff after work and with lay offs comes more on my plate.

  • Larry Doyle

    Teak….I am fairly certain that overall volumes traded on the exchanges are down thus the market becomes more volatile. Moves around and jumps areoudn due to less

    The overall population along with the pool of available labor has grown significantly since the ’30s. This job loss of 660k on a percentage basis is smaller than the losses in the ’30s.

    I will add, though, that unemployment topped at 25% in the 30s. Our unemployment rate now is at 8.5% but the Underemployment rate (those unemployed and looking for work, those unemployed and not looking for work, those working part-time but would prefer full time) is now 15.6. It is conceivable that that number will get to 20%!!

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