Thanks to the government shutdown, the Bureau of Labour Statistics will not publish the September U.S. jobs today.
But here’s a quick tally of the market economists’ expectations:
- Nonfarm payrolls: +180,000
- Private payrolls: +182,000
- Unemployment rate: 7.3%
- Average hourly earnings: +0.3% month-over-month, +7.3% year-over-year
- Average weekly hours: 34.5
Fortunately, we are not flying blind this month. Other high frequency economic reports, most of which are produced in the private sector, offer a glimpse into the state of the U.S. labour market. Let’s go through a few.
- Initial unemployment insurance claims: Jobless claims for the week ending September 28, came in at a very low 308,000. The four-week moving average fell to 305,000, which is the lowest level since May 2007.
- ADP National Employment: ADP said U.S. companies added 166,000 private payrolls in September. This was a bit weaker than the 180,000 jobs expected by economists. Even worse, the August number was revised down to 159,000 from an earlier estimate of 176,000.
- Challenger Planned Layoffs: Announced job cuts fell to 40,289 in September from 50,462 in August. The health care sector was responsible for 8,128 of those job cuts, largely due to lower government reimbursements tied to the sequester.
- ISM non-manufacturing index: The ISM services employment sub-index fell to 52.7 in September from 57.0 in August. This suggests services jobs are growing, but at a decelerating pace.
- ISM manufacturing index: The ISM manufacturing employment sub-index climbed to 55.4 in September from 53.3 in August. This suggests manufacturing jobs are growing at an accelerating pace.
- Gallup US Payroll to Population: According to Gallup’s data, the payroll-to-population ratio fell to 43.5% in September from 43.7% in August.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index: From the September report: “Labour market indicators reflected continued employment growth but flat workweeks. The September employment index was 10, its third reading in a row in solidly positive territory. Seventeen per cent of firms reported hiring new workers compared with 7 per cent reporting layoffs. The hours worked index was near zero, indicating little change from August in average workweek length.”
- Chicago Purchasing Managers Index: Employment softened for the third consecutive month and was the only barometer component to fall in September.
Here’s some commentary from the market economists:
- Deutsche Bank’s Joseph LaVorgna: “Over the last quarter, employee tax withholding revenues have increased at a modest 4.0% annualized rate. This is down from a recent peak of 7.0% growth this past March. At its current pace, tax receipts are broadly consistent with 2.2 million per annum gains in nonfarm payrolls or about 180k jobs per month. This has been the trend in employment since 2012. The relative steadiness in payrolls is corroborated by the ADP survey. Last month, the preliminary reading on September ADP payrolls was +166k, close to its 12-month moving average of +175k. For this reason, whenever the September employment data are released — we are starting to think it will be toward the end of the month, we look for a similarly sized increase as ADP. Going forward, if claims (recent distortions aside) remain near 300k, then the rate of job growth should pickup to at least a 200k per month pace.”
- Wells Fargo’s Anika Khan, John Silvia: “With the nonfarm payrolls report delayed due to the partial government shutdown, the ISM non-manufacturing employment component provides some indication of the trend in September nonfarm payrolls. The ISM non-manufacturing employment component fell to its lowest reading since May, but contradicts the more positive reading in the ISM manufacturing release. Taken together, the employment trend likely remained positive.”
- Trimtabs’ Madeline Schnapp 159,000: “TrimTabs Investment Research estimates that the U.S. economy added 159,000 jobs in September, up from 23,000 in July and 79,000 in August… TrimTabs’ employment estimates are based on an analysis of daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from all salaried U.S. employees… “The only way employment growth can be anywhere near as strong as the BLS claims is if most of the new jobs are either part time, low paying, or both,” said Santschi. “Persistently weak growth in wages and salaries is inconsistent with the BLS employment growth estimates.” … TrimTabs also reported that wages and salaries increased 1.7% year-over-year in real terms in September, in line with the monthly average of 1.6% year-over-year so far this year.”
- UBS’s Kevin Cummins: “The government shutdown likely will delay the BLS employment report for Friday. This [ADP] survey implies that job growth in September advanced at close to its earlier pace. However, jobless claims have begun to trend down more rapidly, and ISM employment measures are suggesting a far faster pace of growth. When the BLS data eventually become available, we expect a 185k rise in private payrolls, 195k (cons: 180k) in total, and the unemployment rate ticking down 0.1 pt to 7.2% (cons: 7.3%).”