The stock market found its stride Tuesday as health care stocks led the charge and investors took an upbeat view on fourth-quarter earnings. Starting Wednesday investors face a triple-play of labor market data. First comes the ADP private payroll report with job creation expected to show 200,000 additional jobs created in the final month of the year. Then comes the initial claims report due on Thursday. Finally on Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the nonfarm employment report, where again a reading of 200,000 is expected by the consensus.
The chart below shows annual nonfarm job creation since 1980 with 2005 being the year to beat. That year the US economy created a net 2.484 million positions. Assuming an in-line December report and no revisions to October and November data, the US economy will have generated the most jobs last year since 1999.
Still, there were four occasions during the 1990’s when the US economy created in excess of 3 million jobs each year – or at least 17% more than during all of 2005.
Chart – Will 2013 produce more jobs than 2005?