Economists estimate the US added 230,000 jobs in January.
Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson, however, thinks the number could be a blowout.
The NFIB Signal
“The odds favour a robust January payroll report,” Shepherdson wrote on Thursday. “The key leading indicator — the NFIB hiring intentions index from five months ago — points to a 275,000 increase, while the coincident NFIB actual employment change index suggests 260,000.”
Shepherdson, who forecasts 250,000 nonfarm payrolls were added, charted it (see above right).
The Jobless Claims Signal
Societe Generale’s Brian Jones is also bullish about Friday’s jobs report. He estimates 275,000 nonfarm payrolls were added in January.
Jones points to the signal sent by initial unemployment insurance claims filed during the jobs report survey period.
“Several factors point to a pick-up in hiring during the reference period,” Jones wrote. “Consistent with little change in the pace of pink-slipping, initial claims for unemployment insurance averaged 302,000 over the five weeks leading up to the January establishment period, not much different from the 299,000 mean posted over the relevant prior-month span.”
“[T]he level of claims is still consistent with payrolls rising by nearly 300K,” Shepherdson noted.
So, maybe we get a blowout number.