Friday, March 9, 2012

The Jobs Report: Economists React

Is it just me or are these folks a bit giddy?
From Real Time Economics:
Economists React: Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just the Job Market?

Economists and others weigh in on the increase in jobs and the flat unemployment rate.
Another great report. Private payrolls up 233,000, and three-month average is now 251,000, just 10,000 short of the pace reached in the three months to Apr 11. This time, though, we think it is sustainable, not least because temp hiring — a leading indicator of permanent hiring — has soared, up 45,000 in Feb, best since Nov 09. Most of the job growth — 209,000 — is in private services, with decent gains in most sectors except retail –Ian Shepherdson, High Frequency Economics

There is no real cloud in the silver lining of this morning’s jobs report – there was even a sharp slowdown in the pace of public sector layoffs. True, the economy still has a long way to go to hire everyone back – especially those sidelined by industries whose recovery is likely to remain subpar, namely home construction and related financial services. This recovery is, however, about production in the real goods sector and that is the core strength of the February report. Not only was there a 31,000 increase in manufacturing payrolls but I have to believe that the growth in production activity is also responsible for the 10,600 increase in transportation and warehousing jobs plus the 8,400 increase in wholesale trade employment. –Steven Blitz, ITG Investment Research

Is it hot in here or is it just the labor markets? For a third consecutive month, payroll growth came in right above the 200,000 mark, indicating a certain stability in employment expansion. The problem, from our perspective, is that those three months coincide with an unusually warm winter that may–and we emphasize may–have pulled forward seasonal hiring which typically beings in April. That possibility makes the recent pickup in payrolls growth somewhat suspect, and only data from the spring season will complete the tale. –Guy LeBas, Janney Montgomery Scott