Monday, February 6, 2023

Was the January Jobs Report a data blip?

I've been trying to make sense of the blowout January Jobs Report. BLS reported a Nonfarm Payroll gain of 517,000, which was an off-the-charts surprise compared to market expectations of 185,000. Whenever large surprises occur, it makes me think that the report represents a data blip.

For some perspective, the 517,000 gain represents an enormous surge in the seasonally adjusted NFP report (blue). The non-seasonally adjusted figure (red) shows that January usually sees large layoffs, and job losses were lower than normal.

Here are the bull and bear cases for employment and the labor market.

The full post can be found here.

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