Here is how the employment numbers are shaping up:
This week we saw the ADP employment numbers and they were slightly worse than anticipated. That shook the markets on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, we saw the weekly initial jobless claims numbers and while they were better than expected (550k vs. 580k estimated) the continuing claims were revised showing that actually more people were continuing to receive unemployment benefits and the actual number for this week was 29,000 higher than estimated.
Now, on Friday morning we are looking at a very important number that provides us with the “official” unemployment rate as well as the change in total non-farm payrolls for the month. While this number has been steadily moving down since March, we are still seeing a good amount of additional people out of work as the rate is now at 9.5%. It is estimated that that will go to 9.6%.
In addition, the wage data will be released with the report and we will see if the deflationary cycle is holding down incomes. This and the unemployment rate may a direct impact on consumption, causing a further drop in economic activity. We saw this very clearly today as the retail establishments released monthly same store sales. Overall all they were not encouraging.
Consumers are still entrenched, repairing their balance sheets and increasing their savings. Of course this has an effect on the equity markets.
Now, the important point to make is that there are few late entries to the estimates as of Thursday. Deutsche Bank is now estimating that we will see a 150k decline and a well timed release (3pm) by Goldman Sachs is betting that we will see a 250k decline. Both of these are well outside the mean and would be well received if they are right.
Even if we come in at 350k, that would be a good number and shows that layoffs are slowing and/or employers are opting for part-time labor over firings.
Disclosure: Horowitz & Company clients may hold positions of securities mentioned as of the date published.