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 pragcap.com 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 http://bit.ly/1bSQreH
After the report was released a slightly different take, as well as an in-depth look at the numbers, was presented over at bonddadblog.com:
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: http://bit.ly/1egQQn8
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.