NFP Payrolls – What is With Estimates?

What is going on with economists lately? Before you answer that, it is the same affliction that we seem to see for analysts. It is the estimate-low-not-to-get-it-wrong syndrome. It is spreading like an epidemic too.

Before the numbers came out for Non-Farm payrolls ( NFP ) last Friday, expectations were all over the map. None were close though. Not even the crystal ball over at Goldman could predict that the snow storms would be an non-issue.

Prior to the report, we were saying:

Looks like the high estimate is for a gain of 30k jobs and a low estimate of -150k jobs. Some “Non-Economists” are calling for -220k. They are thinking the snow reduced payrolls as hourly people were unable to go to work which therefore were unable to collect a pay check (I would guess, not sure however).

(Click Chart to Enlarge)