Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Preview: Employment Report for June

by Bill McBride on 7/01/2015 05:49:00 PM

Bold prediction: Tomorrow will feel like a Friday!

On Thursday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for June. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 230,000 non-farm payroll jobs in June (with a range of estimates between 202,000 to 252,000), and for the unemployment rate to decline to 5.4%.

The BLS reported 280,000 jobs added in May.

Here is a summary of recent data:

• The ADP employment report showed an increase of 237,000 private sector payroll jobs in June. This was above expectations of 220,000 private sector payroll jobs added. The ADP report hasn't been very useful in predicting the BLS report for any one month, but in general, this suggests employment growth slightly above expectations.

• The ISM manufacturing employment index increased in June to 55.5%. A historical correlation between the ISM manufacturing employment index and the BLS employment report for manufacturing, suggests that private sector BLS manufacturing payroll jobs increased about 10,000 in June. The ADP report indicated a 7,000 increase for manufacturing jobs.

The ISM non-manufacturing index for June will be released next Monday.

Initial weekly unemployment claims averaged close to 271,000 in June, about the same as in May - and the lowest monthly average since early 2001. For the BLS reference week (includes the 12th of the month), initial claims were at 268,000; down from 275,000 during the reference week in May.

This suggests a lower level of layoffs in June.

• The final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 96.1 from the May reading of 90.0. Sentiment is frequently coincident with changes in the labor market, but there are other factors too - like gasoline prices.

• On small business hiring: The small business index from Intuit showed a 25,000 increase in small business employment in June, the same as in May.  From Intuit: Small Businesses Employment Increases in June

Small business employment rose by 25,000 jobs in June, an increase of 0.13 percent, matching the gains seen in May. Although the hiring rate fell slightly, it should not be regarded as a reversal of the upward trend that began in June 2009.

“Small business employment remains 500,000 below the peak of 21.2 million people employed by small businesses in March 2007,” said Woodward. “Part of this continuing shortfall is because housing construction has failed to return to pre-crisis or even normal levels.”

“A sign of stronger small business activity is the hiring rate, which has been rising slowly but steadily since September 2009. The hiring rate always exceeds the employment increase because hiring reflects replacing workers who leave, as well as added workers,” Woodward said.
• Trim Tabs reported that the U.S. economy added 190,000 jobs in June. From  TrimTabs:
TrimTabs Investment Research estimates that the U.S. economy added 190,000 jobs in June, the lowest level in 12 months.

“Job growth last month broke a streak of eleven consecutive monthly gains exceeding 200,000,” said David Santschi, chief executive officer of TrimTabs. “The economy seems to have lost some momentum heading into the dog days of summer.”

TrimTabs’ employment estimates are based on analysis of daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from the paychecks of the 142 million U.S. workers subject to withholding.
• Conclusion: Unfortunately none of the indicators above is very good at predicting the initial BLS employment report. However it looks like this should be another 200+ month (based on ADP, ISM manufacturing, unemployment claims, and small business hiring). There is always some randomness to the employment report, but my guess is in the low 200s.