Non farm payrolls in November grew a measely 112,000 jobs — far below the consensus of 200,000 Wall Street Economists were expecting.
October’s data, an aberrant 337,000 jobs, were adjusted downwards to 303,000. The huge lift that month was incontrovertably caused by the four Gulf of Mexico hurricaines. In addition to recontruction and repairs after the storms, some hiring in September got displace forward a month by the weather disruption.
September’s numbers were also revised downwards.
I continue to be astounded by the many economists who insist on maintaining the myth that the Household Survey is more accurate than the Establishment Survey. They reveal their complete lack of integrity by only trotting out the Household survey numbers when it suits their evil purposes. This group of seers (also referred to by their genus, econimus weaselus) were stunningly silent on the Household Survey data last month, when the October data showed a drop in Household employment by some 367,000 workers.
Indeed, some commentators have taken the art of "selective data" into the realm of farce. Consider this statement from a research house (quoted in Barrons) Friday:
"The payroll job survey is frequently significantly at odds with the Household Survey and the difference has seldom been wider than this month."
Seldom wider? Absurd.
A quick calculation reveals how ludicrous this is: November Establishment (+112k) versus Household (+439k) show a disparity of 327k, supporting the commentator’s bullish macro economic thesis.
That sounds like a significant difference — until one looks at October’s data. Establishment (+337k) versus Household (-367k) revealed a disparity of 704,000. Not only is that more than double the previous disparity, the two surveys (which measure very different things) were trending in opposite directions.
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: NOVEMBER 2004
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
December 03, 2004