The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Employment]

So the market "liked" the employment report, then it didn't, and now it sort of does again.

Let's take the headline:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Little changed = up a tick (was 4.9% before.)

What's the data say?

The household survey says the monthly figure was +173, on the back of a -633 last month (unadjusted.)  Corrected for working-age population change we lost 64,000 jobs -- statistically identical to zero (last month was -867k.)

In terms of the employment:population ratio it was flat this month, while the "official" rate was up a tick.

Anything else interesting in here?

Yes - manufacturing has had two bad months in a row, especially durables.  That's not so good.  At the same time retail trade, bars and temps had a good month.  Is that net positive?  You decide.

Weekly hours ticked up one tenth, which is good, but remember that last month they ticked down one tenth, so that's a wash over a two-month period.  The trend is down slightly (one tick) over the last year -- statistically unchanged.  Hourly earnings wee up six cents, which is a better figure.  However, the diffusion index has been down for the lat three months both in total and in manufacturing, which isn't so good as it points to internal weakness.

Continuing a pattern that has bothered me for quite some time those with college degrees have made no progress over the last year in terms of employment rate, while those with lesser education have gained.  Does this matter?  You bet it does when it comes to the quality of the jobs being created and the monstrous education bubble, particularly with regard to debt and cost, we have blown.

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