It was a First Friday today. Global share markets were
trading briskly in advance of the monthly Federal U.S. non-farm
Europe's major stocks indexes and S&P futures were both up
ahead of the report. Asia was mixed. The U.S.
10-year rate traded down at 2.97%, having pulled back from a 3.00%
handle delivered by the front-running +238,000 private ADP job
additions reported on Wednesday.
Even the forecasters were bullish. Bloomberg forecasted
non-form payrolls at +197,000 jobs in December, and a +203,000 jobs
advance in November. Such job gains would bring the annual
U.S. increase to 2.27 million jobs, an amount last exceeded eight
years ago in 2005. Bloomberg forecasters also looked
for a 7% U.S. household
What did we get?
Total non-farm payrolls came in at +74,000. That's the lowest
rate since December 2011. In 2013, job growth averaged
+182,000. Employment in retail trade in December was +55,000
of that. That means we added a paltry +19,000 jobs away from
the shopping malls.
We got to a 6.7% unemployment rate via the worst labor force
participation rate (62.8%) seen in decades. The 2013 average
was just below 63.3%. That +0.5% difference spoke to rising
frustration in the ranks of the millions of long-term unemployed
workers. WIth 150 million workers, one half a percent becomes
There was one small bit of good news. November's job number
was revised up to +241,000.
Surprisingly, after the weak report, the futures in S&P 500
stocks stayed positive. Europe's stock indexes keep on going
up. The U.S. 10-year rate traded down 7 basis points to
My Real Time Insight Question: Why Did This Jobs
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