The highly anticipated employment report is in, not to my surprise, pretty much every analyst, expert, including ADP Payroll Services, were not even close in their predictions. Expectations were that in the month of December the employment rolls would see an addition of 180,000 jobs to the labor force.
The government released the latest report at8:30AM on Friday announcing that only 113,000 jobs were created in December. This comes on the heels of November's dismal report of only 75,000 new jobs created. The national unemployment rate declined 1/10th for the month of January dropping to 6.6%.
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The question keeps coming up again and again...How can the unemployment rate keep declining when companies are laying off more people every month than the amount of new jobs being created? The answer is a simple one. The labor department only counts people who are looking for jobs. The bottom line is if you are unemployed, but you give up on trying to find a job, you don't count in the labor rate.
I don't know who ever came up with this way of calculating the labor rate however I think it may be a time to change the way they do it as it is anything but a true reflection of what is really happening.
The stock market, despite the less than stellar employment report jumped at the opening bell by 80 points. The consensus amongst investors is that the continued weakness in the employment sector may be a catalyst for the Fed to hold off on any further tapering to the stimulus program.
Fed Chairman Janet Yellen, as well as former Fed Chairman Ben Bernake, have made it clear that the health of the labor market will continue to be the primary driver on future Fed policy decisions.
Last week the stock market declined because of growing concerns in the world markets that the global economy is slowing. On Monday of this the ISM Manufacturing Index showed a much greater than expected slowing trend in domestic manufacturing and production. Coming on the heels of last week's global report, investors got spooked and the stock market tumbled over 300 points.
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Next week there is not much in the way of market moving news in the United States. That does not mean by and stretch that global data won't play a role in investor behavior in the coming week.
- Wednesday February 12th - MBA Purchase Applications
- Thursday February 13th - First Time Jobless Claims and Retail Sales
- Friday February 14th - Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment
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