The key report of the week will be released Friday morning: the December Employment Report. The consensus (see below) increased today based on the better than expected ADP employment report. Here is a summary of recent data:
• The ADP employment report showed an increase of 215,000 private sector payroll jobs in December. This was above expectations. Historically the ADP report hasn’t been very useful in predicting the BLS report for any one month, although the methodology changed three months ago and may be more useful in predicting the BLS report. In general this suggests employment growth was above expectations.
• The ISM manufacturing employment index increased in December to 52.7%, up from 48.4% in November.
• Initial weekly unemployment claims averaged about 362,000 in December. This was the low for the year. A positive for employment.
For the BLS reference week (includes the 12th of the month), initial claims were at 362,000; the lowest for a reference week this year.
• The small business index from Intuit showed 15,000 payroll jobs added, down from 25,000 in November.
• And on the unemployment rate from Gallup:
Gallup’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for the U.S. workforce was 7.7% for the month of December, statistically unchanged from 7.8% at the end of November. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.9%, a 0.4-point decline over November.
Note: Gallup only recently has been providing a seasonally adjusted estimate for the unemployment rate, so use with caution. So far the Gallup numbers haven’t been very useful in predicting the BLS unemployment rate, but this does suggest little change in December from 7.7% in November.
This data suggests a stronger employment report for December than for November, and perhaps over 200 thousand jobs added.
Friday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM, the Employment Report for December will be released. The consensus is for an increase of 157,000 non-farm payroll jobs in December; there were 146,000 jobs added in November. The consensus is for the unemployment rate to increase to 7.8% in December, up from 7.7% in November.
• At 10:00 AM, ISM non-Manufacturing Index for December. The consensus is for a decrease to 54.5 from 54.7 in November. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.
• Also at 10:00 AM, Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders (Factory Orders) for November. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in orders.
• At 3:00 PM, Speech by Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, “Systemic Risk”, At the American Economic Association/American Finance Association Joint Luncheon, San Diego, California