The big November jobs report is just a few hours away.
On Friday, Wall Street expects the latest jobs report will show the economy added 200,000 jobs in November while the unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 5%.
David Mericle and the economics team at Goldman Sachs also expect the report to come in right at consensus expectations.
But in his preview note to clients, Mericle lists a few things that argue for a report that could come in better than expected, while other factors could drag down the headline numbers.
On the bridge side, Mericle thinks these five factors argue for a better-than-expected report:
- The ADP November payroll number beat expectations, coming in 20,000 jobs stronger than the average gain over the prior six months. (We’d note that other economists think this number is backward-looking and holds no predictive value.)
- Manufacturing surveys, which were weak, had stronger-than-expected employment components.
- Online job ads were up in all major regions of the country and all major occupational categories in November, according to the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online report.
- The Challenger, Grey & Christmas job cuts report showed a decline in job cuts in November.
- The weather was basically fine in November, which could provide a modest bump for payrolls.
Arguing for potential downside problems, Mericle found these three issues looming:
- The Conference Board’s labour differential — which measures the difference between households that see jobs as plentiful versus hard to get — declined 4.4 points to negative 6.3 in November after having been positive over the summer.
- Service sector surveys has worse-than-expected employment components.
- The four-week average of initial jobless claims leading into the payroll reference week rose 8,000 from the same level ahead of the same week in October.
Mericle also sees some risk that because of rounding, the unemployment rate could rise to 5.1%.