Actual jobs data
Notice the really bad numbers are before President Obama took office or before he had a chance to affect what was going on. ADP reports blow-out job growth for December. Fifth week of jobless claims below 400,000. Automatic Data Processing Macroeconomic Advisors reported on 1/6/12 private payroll employment soared to 325,000 in December, more than 100,000 higher than predicted by the most optimistic of experts who were surveyed ahead of time by Bloomberg. ADP’s estimates of payroll growth are based on data from the payrolls of 400,000 businesses covering 24 million employees. The report does not include government jobs. Data included in the report end at the 12th of each month. The surprising numbers could be a good omen for what gets released Friday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly jobs
report. Expert consensus predicts the BLS will announce a (seasonally adjusted) 155,000 jobs were created. The ADP report could boost those predictions. Although the ADP numbers and those from the BLS often diverge sharply, analysts use both as part of their intelligence-gathering to determine the health of the labor market.
Last month, the BLS reported private sector job growth at 140,000 jobs, while ADP's revised numbers clocked in at 204,000. Here's what the ADP numbers have looked like over the past five years:
December 2007: +37,000
December 2008: -659,000
December 2009: -61,000
December 2010: +247,000
December 2011: +325,000
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reported first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in the week ending Dec. 29 fell 15,000 to 372,000 from last week's revised 387,000. It's the fifth week that initial claims have been below 400,000. That trend has encouraged economists because it indicates improvement in a weak labor market. The four-week running average that analysts prefer because it flattens volatility in the weekly numbers fell to 373,250, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 376,500. Here's what those numbers looked like for the last week of December over the past five years. (The recession officially began in December 2007.)
In a third report out this morning, employer-announced jobs cuts were down 1.6 percent over November, to 41,785, according to consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's considerably worse than December 2010, when 32,004 job cuts were announced. During the entire 12 months of 2011, 606,082 job lay-offs were announced, up 14 percent from the
529,973 lay-offs in 2010. Of the total, 183,064 in 2011 were government job lay-offs.