Jobs Friday!!!

The first Friday of every month brings us the BLS Jobs Report, which I consider to be the most important economic report released. This morning July’s report was released and showed a gain of 162,000 jobs, falling short of the consensus of 175,000.  Before the report was released our friend Cullen Roche from made some key points:

  • We know that jobless claims have been trending lower and lower and just recorded their lowest weekly reading since the recovery started.  
  • The ADP private payrolls report came in at 200K – very healthy.
  • The Challenger Job Cut report remains low and is showing 7.3% fewer layoffs through July 2013 than the same period in 2012.
  • The July ISM employment reading was 54.4 – the highest reading in well over a year.
    I don’t know what this morning’s employment report will say.  It might be lower than 175K or it might be higher.  But the overall data is telling a very clear story – the employment situation is improving (at worst, certainly not deteriorating).
    Read more from Cullen at

After the report was released a slightly different take, as well as an in-depth look at the numbers, was presented over at

The internals in this report almost all were poor. The workweek declined. Average wages declined. Aggregate hours declined. May and June were revised downward. The participation rate is still barely above its post-recession low.
For more click here:

Will here, there is no question the debate will continue to rage on as the whether the U.S. economy is strong enough for the Fed to begin tapering in September.  This jobs report showed that while jobs are being added, it is occurring at a frustratingly slow pace.  The labor participation rate fell again in July to 63.4%.  These data points are confirming that the U.S. GDP continues to grow at a sub 2% pace.  Not good enough for the type of recovery we are used to after a recession but stronger than most other developed counties.

Mixed July for Global PMI

One measure of the global economy that we watch closely is the monthly PMI report for countries around the globe.  What is the significance of the PMI?  From Markit:
PMIs are based on monthly surveys of carefully selected companies. These provide an advance indication of what is really happening in the private sector economy by tracking variables such as output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices across the manufacturing, construction, retail and service sectors.

A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.  July was a mixed bag as we saw improvement in Europe (Germany, Italy, Poland, etc.) while seeing many Asian countries (Japan, Korea, Taiwan) as well as Turkey, Russia and Australia continuing to weaken.   pmi scorecard

For a more thorough report, including the U.S., Brazil and Canada, check out the great job the folks at have done: