Friday, March 31, 2017

The Jobs Report, T+69 -- March 31, 2017


Later, 10:18 a.m. Central Time: the wages and spending report was not particularly noteworthy, but first reading suggests it was all good news. And yet, the press continued the theme that was noted earlier this morning with the jobs report: "if the financial news is good, report it as not as good as predicted."
Original Post
This is a day late. I got sidetracked with the NDIC hearing dockets yesterday.

This will be a stand-alone on the jobs report today.

Three links::
    • unrevised level of 261,000
    • the unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey, edged down to 4.7% 
The jobs reports for the past couple of weeks have not been particularly good.

Having said that, the opening line for at Econoday seemed a bit unusual:
Initial jobless claims did fall 3,000 in the March 25 week but the level of 258,000 is higher than expected and, next to the prior week's 261,000, is the highest so far this year. 
And Business Insider kept up that theme, with this opening line:
Initial jobless claims fell less than expected.
I don't ever recall that being the narrative during the Obama administration but I do have selective memory.

It appears that under Trump, even if we have good news, even business reporters will find a way to paint it in a negative fashion.

But, I do have to agree: the jobless reports for the past couple of weeks have been a) horrendous -- last week; and, b) not much better -- this week.

Kiplinger, of course, got it wrong when they said the previous week's number was "unrevised." In fact, it was revised upward from 258,000 to 261,000. Had last week's number not been revised, this week's number would have been the same: 258,000. Whatever.

Finally, Kiplinger says the unemployment rate edged to 4.7% (not saying what it was previously -- it was 4.8%) and not noting that was very old news. That is February's unemployment rate and the number was released back on March 10.

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