Goldman economist David Mericle is out with his Jobs Report prediction, and it’s not that bullish.
We forecast a 210k increase in nonfarm payrolls in May, a touch softer than consensus expectations. Payroll gains have averaged 238k over the last three months, but the May employment data flow looks more mixed. As a result, we expect May to come in a bit below the trend-like rate of about 225k that we expect as growth accelerates in 2014.
We expect that the unemployment rate rose two-tenths to 6.5% in May after a larger-than-expected four-tenths decline in April. The reason is that we expect that last month’s four-tenths decline in the participation rate will be partially reversed, in part because most of it arose from an increase in non-participation for ‘other reasons’ rather than retirement or disability. Wage growth will likely remain a focus of attention this month, and we expect a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings (AHE).
Mericle then goes on to list a number of positive indicators and negative indicators — the negative ones include a spike in reported layoffs, and the weak ADP jobs report.
Goldman isn’t wildly off the consensus here, but still, a tad disappointing.