Goldman’s Jan Hatzius had this to say regarding yesterday’s weaker-than-expected job creation numbers.
If we take a slightly longer-term view, the disappointments of recent months now look more significant. The 3-month average gain in nonfarm payrolls is now down to 143,000, the weakest pace since August 2012. Other measures are even softer, with 3-month averages of 82,000 for total household employment growth and 42,000 for “payroll-consistent” household employment growth (that is, job growth estimated from the household survey adjusted to conform to the definitions of nonfarm payroll growth in the establishment survey).
Job creation has been pitifully slow throughout the post-crisis period, but now we’re seeing a weak spot within a much bigger weak spot.
And there were hopes that 2013 would be some kind of a breakout year. Now we can clearly see that even prior to the October shutdown mess we were in a mediocre spot.
Expectations that the Fed begins to normalize policy have shifted dramatically, with almost everyone thinking that a taper will come next year some time, rather than this year.