Will Jobs Disappointment Trigger More Fed QE?
by Zacks Equity ResearchJuly 06, 2012 | Comments : 7 Recommended this article: (0)
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Another Jobs Friday and another disappointing read – we are getting to used to this now. Thursday’s ADP report had raised hopes that we will break the negative cycle of back-to-back disappointing jobs numbers of the last three months. But it was not to be.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported June non-farm payroll gains of 80K, below the roughly 100K expected and the 77K jobs in May (revised higher from 69K originally reported). The revisions trend was mixed, with May revised higher and April revised lower. For context, keep in mind that monthly job gains totaled 84K in June 2011. The unemployment and the labor force participation rates remained unchanged at 8.2% and 63.8%, respectively.
Thursday’s ADP report of strong private sector job gains seems like distant memory now as we can’t see any of those jobs in today’s BLS report. A total 84K private sector jobs were created in June, with the government sector suffering job losses of 4K. This compares to private sector jobs of 105K in the month before and 102K in June 2011. Manufacturing added 11K jobs in June, compared to 9K in May and 10K in April. Service sector jobs totaled 71K, down from 126K in May and 81K in April. Temp jobs increased, up 25.2K in June from 18.6K in May. The average workweek edged by 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours, while average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents to $23.50. The June average hourly earnings are up 2% from the same period last year.
There is no doubt now that the brief spurt of labor market momentum during the winter months is now firmly behind us. Economists will debate the causes of the economic slowdown this Spring, but the trend is quite clear. Monthly job gains averaged 75K in the second quarter, down sharply from first quarter’s monthly pace of 226K.
The question at this stage is whether these jobs numbers are bad enough to prompt a fresh response from the Fed. I thought a number around 50K today would qualify for that type of response, but today’s number if not much different from that either.
Irrespective of whether you think fresh QE can reverse the economy’s slide (I don’t think it can), do you think today’s numbers will prompt the Fed to ‘do more’? I believe they do; what do you think?
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