2017 Economic Calendar
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Employment Situation  
Released On 1/6/2017 8:30:00 AM For Dec, 2016
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change178,000 204,000 175,000 151,000  to 210,000 156,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level4.6 %4.7 %4.6 % to 4.8 %4.7 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change156,000 198,000 165,000 136,000  to 200,000 144,000 
Participation Rate - level62.7 %62.6 %62.7 %
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change-0.1 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.4 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.4 hrs34.3 hrs34.4 hrs34.4 hrs to 34.5 hrs34.3 hrs

Job growth may be the new economic policy but wage inflation may be the risk. Nonfarm payrolls rose a lower-than-expected 156,000 in December but, in an offset, revisions added a net 19,000 to the two prior months (November now at 204,000 and October at 135,000).

But the big story is another outsized 0.4 percent rise in average hourly earnings, the second such gain in three months. The year-on-year rate is now at 2.9 percent which is a cycle high. A 3 percent rate and above is widely seen as feeding overall inflation.

The unemployment rate is very low though it did tick up 1 tenth to 4.7 percent. Keeping the rate down is low labor participation, at 62.7 percent with the prior month revised down 1 tenth to 62.6 percent.

Sector payrolls show another sizable gain for trade & transportation, up 24,000, and a rare gain for manufacturing, up 17,000. Government added 12,000 jobs while a 15,000 rise for professional & business services is not only on the low side for this reading but includes a 16,000 decline in temporary help, a subcomponent that is especially sensitive to changes in labor demand.

There are hints of slowing job growth in this report but the wage pressure underscores the Federal Reserve's expectations for three rate hikes during the year and raises the question whether the labor market, even before new stimulus under the incoming administration, is at an inflationary flashpoint. Other details include a lower-than-expected workweek, at 34.3 hours in December which is unchanged from a downwardly revised November.

Consensus Outlook
A very sharp 3 tenths decline in the unemployment rate to 4.6 percent highlighted a November employment report that proved very solid. Forecasters see December's unemployment rate giving back some of the improvement with the consensus at 4.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls, at a consensus 175,000, are expected to come in roughly at November's 178,000 headline. Unusual strength in average hourly earnings was the highlight of the October employment report but they posted a small decline in November. Forecasters see earnings back in the plus column in December at a strong 0.3 percent gain.

The most closely watched of all economic indicators, the employment situation is a set of monthly labor market indicators based on two separate reports: the establishment survey which tracks 650,000 worksites and offers the nonfarm payroll and average hourly earnings headlines and the household survey which interviews 60,000 households and generates the unemployment rate.

Nonfarm payrolls track the number of part-time and full-time employees in both business and government. Average hourly earnings track employee pay while the average workweek, also part of the establishment survey, tracks the number of hours worked. The report's private payroll measure excludes government workers.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. In order to be counted as unemployed, one must be actively looking for work. Other commonly known data from the household survey include the labor supply and discouraged workers.  Why Investors Care
During the mature phase of an economic expansion, monthly payrolls gains of 150,000 or so are considered relatively healthy. In the early stages of recovery though, gains are expected to surpass 250,000 per month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
The unemployment rate measures those who have a job relative to those who are actively looking for a job. During recessions, those actively looking may grow discouraged, dropping out of the workforce and, in a counter- intuitive twist, putting downward pressure on the unemployment rate. During times of economic strength, workforce dropouts may regain their confidence and begin actively looking for a job once again which puts upward pressure on the unemployment rate.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/62/33/104/75/56/27/78/49/110/611/312/8
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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