It Could Take Months Before We Find Out If Friday's Jobs Report Was Great

The November US job report will be released on Friday morning, and most observers are pretty optimistic, with consensus expectations of 230,000 new nonfarm payrolls.

However, it’s quite possible that we’ll see a much lower number tomorrow morning, and we might not know the real story until February.

Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Sheperdson points out in his daily US Economics Monitor that “whatever you think really happened to November payrolls, you need to temper your forecast for the initial print by about 70K.”

One big factor that could influence the jobs number is the recent tendency for November payroll revisions to be quite a bit larger than those in other months, as can be seen in the chart below.

Sheperdson points out that “over the past five years, the median revision between the first estimate for November and the third, published two months later, is a hefty 71K. The median for the other 11 months of the year is just +23K.”

If that trend continues, we could see the November jobs number increase by tens of thousands in the revisions early next year.

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