December Payrolls Mixed

Another head scratcher…please recall there are actually 2 surveys released today – one impacts the unemployment rate (household survey) while the other is the headline number.

The headline figure of +103K is not very good considering expectations but the household figure showed a decline of about half a million people who are unemployed hence the much followed unemployed rate dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. This was 9.6% 2 months ago. Still looking into reason for the half million drop.

U6 fell back down to 16.7% but really no long term progress on that one.

Workweek flat. Average hourly earnings up 0.1%.

Labor force participation continues to be terrible. Fell another 0.2% to 64.3%. This is now about 2.3% below the long term average which does not sound like much in percentage terms but means some 4 million dropped out of the workforce the past few years and if we had a normal participation rate, the unemployment rate would be 2%ish higher…and getting worse as this figure was a substandard 64.5% last month. We continue to wonder where all these people went.

November was not revised up that much…thought it would spike higher on a revision. Up to 71K from 39K but it shows the folly in our knee jerk reactions as speculators since whatever is said today will change in a handful of weeks anyway.

About Mark Hanna 543 Articles

Affiliation: Hanna Capital, LLC

Mark Hanna is President and Owner of Hanna Capital, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm. Mark has been a follower of markets since the late 80s, with a focus on individual equities since the mid 90s. He has been a well known commentator in the financial blogosphere for the past 5 years, following a career in corpoporate finance and accounting. Mark attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with a degree in Economics.

As an avid reader, Market Montage is the personal blogging site for Mark to share his views on economics, markets, and the like. Occasional cynicism and wit shall be deployed in his postings.

Follow Mark on Twitter @fundmyfund.

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