2018 Economic Calendar
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Employment Situation  
Released On 2/2/2018 8:30:00 AM For Jan, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change148,000 160,000 175,000 150,000  to 205,000 200,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level4.1 %4.1 %4.0 % to 4.2 %4.1 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change146,000 166,000 172,000 142,000  to 200,000 196,000 
Manufacturing Payrolls - M/M change25,000 21,000 18,000 5,000  to 22,000 15,000 
Participation Rate - level62.7 %62.7 %62.6 % to 62.7 %62.7 %
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change0.3 %0.4 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.3 %0.3 %
Average Hourly Earnings - Y/Y change2.5 %2.7 %2.6 %2.5 % to 2.7 %2.9 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.5 hrs34.5 hrs34.4 hrs to 34.5 hrs34.3 hrs

Highlights
A very solid employment report for January, one however tinged with a hint of weakness, is led by a 200,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls. This is 25,000 above Econoday's consensus and near the high estimate. The unemployment rate is steady at a very low 4.1 percent but it's average hourly earnings that take the headlines: up a noticeable 0.3 percent with December revised 1 tenth higher to a 0.4 percent increase that joins September 2017 as an unusually strong month. The year-on-year rate for earnings is 2.9 percent which is the best of the recovery and which follows an upwardly revised 2.7 percent this last December.

Now the weakness which is the average workweek, which for all private-sector employees fell to 34.3 hours from 34.5. Weekly manufacturing hours are also down, 0.3 percent lower on the aggregate index which points to yet another disappointment for the manufacturing component of the industrial production report. The weakness in hours apparently isn't tied to the month's brief government shutdown as the Labor Department said the shutdown had "no discernible effect" on the data.

But strength is really the message and illustrated in payroll growth including very solid gains of 15,000 for manufacturing and another standout month for construction at 36,000. Retail trade shows a 15,000 bounce higher with professional & business services up 23,000. Temporary help and government both show small gains.

The fall in the workweek could be the first tangible confirmation of what the Federal Reserve's Beige Book has been warning, that lack of available workers is holding down the expansion. But the gains in average hourly earnings are clear and certainly underscore the FOMC's language that points to improvement in inflation and rising interest rates this year. Note that today's report includes routine benchmark revisions to the establishment survey.


Consensus Outlook
Econoday's consensus for January growth in nonfarm payrolls is 175,000 in what would compare with a moderate but still favorable 148,000 in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent which would continue to point to full employment and the risk of wage inflation which did show some December pressure as average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent with January's expectations also at a 0.3 percent gain. Year-on-year average hourly earnings increased 1 tenth in December to a still modest 2.5 percent against the January consensus for 2.6 percent. Private payrolls are expected to rise 172,000 with manufacturing payrolls expected to climb 18,000. The workweek is seen unchanged at 34.5 hours and the labor participation rate also seen unchanged at 62.7 percent.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/23/94/65/46/17/68/39/710/511/212/7
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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