NFP = -63,000 (Off to Bloomberg TV)

Wow, thats quite a wallop — the worst jobs report in 5 years:

"Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate declined to 4.8 percent, reflecting a shrinking labor force as some people gave up looking for work."

As mentioned, earlier, any one data point is minor — its the overall direction that is significant. Today’s data reflects  the prior trend’s accelerating weakness.


I’m off to Bloomberg TV (10:00 – 10:15) to talk about this data point, and where you can hide out during the recession . . .


Source: Barron’s Econoday



BLS, March 7, 2008

U.S. Unexpectedly Lost 63,000 Jobs in February (Unexpectedly?!? Really?)
Shobhana Chandra
Bloomberg, March 7 2008

Jobs post biggest drop in 5 years
Chris Isidore, March 7, 2008: 8:55 AM EST

Payrolls Declined in February, Increasing Fears of Recession
WSJ, March 7, 2008 9:20 a.m.

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 7

    I’m not hiding…I’m 100% long QID

  2. scorpio commented on Mar 7

    and now we’re almost back to Unch. this is the best place to buy in the best market in the best country in the best of all possible worlds.

  3. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 7


    I hope you are kidding…the financial sector is melting down. The market is going to be a smoldering crater soon.

  4. Vermont Trader.. commented on Mar 7

    i’m with u scorpio, at least for today.

    Funny, today is the first day in a long time that an institutional salesperson hasn’t called me with some rumor.

  5. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 7

    The FED has figured out how to “play” the traders…

  6. lutton commented on Mar 7

    Can we get some new formula for unemployment already?!?

    The current one just masks the real story, and lets people hide from the facts.

  7. lutton commented on Mar 7

    Can we get some new formula for unemployment already?!?

    The current one just masks the real story, and lets people hide from the facts.

  8. Ben commented on Mar 7

    The bear looks very very tired now. Look at the bounce! STRONG! CNBC wins! Cheers!

  9. michael schumacher commented on Mar 7

    Fresh piles of money falling from the sky soothes all.

    Gotta save those piggies…

    12k is just another number that we will soon see from below.

    regarding C……I wish I could attempt to write off $45 billion and then watch my stock rise… first reaction to C’s news was “great…..sell them to who?”
    that part did not get mentioned at all.


  10. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 7

    I have seen enough…the Dow rallying on AIG and JPM? JPM is getting a call from me right now…$20 Trillion in derivatives…I want some more collateral.

  11. anony commented on Mar 7

    And this is with a Birth-Death adjustment of +135K. Please do your as-usual-interesting birth-death analysis, Barry.

  12. Florida commented on Mar 7

    Notice how when the market starts proving out the things Barry’s been saying for awhile, the teevee channels suddenly start wanting him as a guest multiple times every week.

    Good on ya’, Barry!

  13. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 7

    What a great gift to bears in the financials…short, short, and short them!

  14. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 7

    How did Matt Nesto get his job? This guy should be doing radio voice overs.

  15. Roger Bigod commented on Mar 7

    If you’re rich and you refuse to meet a margin call, isn’t that like walking away or jingle mail? Or does it not count if you’re rich?

  16. Vermont Trader.. commented on Mar 7

    on the subject of the jobs report.. there was whisper # of -100k making the rounds the last few days and I would note that without the +38k government jobs created by our small government republican president that we would of hit that #. that would make it the worst private payrolls drop since 03/03

  17. michael schumacher commented on Mar 7

    vermont trader-

    Spot on……like the gov’t really hired 40k people….


  18. bluestatedon commented on Mar 7

    aaaaaand we’re now in positive territory on all three indices, at least for the moment. It’s what I figured would happen — the market just doesn’t care all that much about unemployment.

  19. bluestatedon commented on Mar 7

    or rather the market doesn’t seem to care about negative unemployment figures. If the numbers had been positive by the smallest amount, I’ve no doubt that we’d be seeing a big rally.

  20. LIMIT UP commented on Mar 7

    sorry but this blog is just as negative as any other blog… Today was the moment to load up on long dollar positions
    Why is everybody always so negative at or near bottoms ???


    BR: As I told Bloomberg, we have deeply negative sentiment, which should generate a treadable POP.

    We are selling into it . . .

  21. techy2468 commented on Mar 7

    there is too much OPM-cash sitting on the sidelines….which will always support the markets…unless of course actual data keeps hammering and sends the earnnigs lower…..which will take time.

    stock market has very much become like housing….if the holders dont sell, and new involantary cash keeps coming in(pension/retirement/401k etc) it will definitely be deployed…

  22. michael schumacher commented on Mar 7

    but when the employment #’s are good we have all seen the whoosh upwards that is created from that.

    It’s not that the market doesn’t care about it…it ignores it when it isn’t what it wants. Since that was not really a recipe for “up” it’s pretty easy to see what is going on here.

    it doesn’t matter what the news is……buying the SPY hand over fist doesn’t require a news item to do however it is easier to get away with if it can be attributed to whatever “happy news” is being pushed front and center.

    It just so happens that there is a lack of happy news but 12k WILL BE DEFENDED REGARDLESS OF HOW OBVIOUS IT LOOKS.

    Is it not obvious to you????


  23. Ben commented on Mar 7

    Buy Buy Buy! That’s the only way to avoid the recession. We have to echo the lip-service of CNBC! Cheers, Dennis!

  24. Jdamon commented on Mar 7

    Come on guys, I can’t beieve you are so negative, so perma-bearish that you don’t understand the basics of trading the market. This news has been priced into the market all week (or have you forgotten the 200+ point drop). In a bear market its sell the rumor, buy the news….. To make money, you have to have a little flexibility now and again. Stop being so overly emotional and learn what the market is telling you.

  25. michael schumacher commented on Mar 7


    you are the latest person in a VERY LONG LINE of the assumption “police”.


  26. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 7

    Jdamon, I agree with you to a point but there also comes a time when markets get washed-out and that hasn’t happened yet, but will, fairly soon. jmho

  27. Pool Shark commented on Mar 7

    MS & VT,

    I suspect those 38k new government jobs are merely bookkeeping changes.

    More than likely, they are welfare recipients who are now being counted as ‘government employees’ since the government sends them a ‘paycheck’ each month and gives them benefits like free healthcare.

    If Reagan could claim that ‘ketchup’ was a vegetable in school lunches, why not?

  28. samsin commented on Mar 7

    “And so it begins…”

    Signs that this may be it for the market:

    1) Emergency fix-it measures having less of an immediate effect in the indices.

    2) One more clear trend pointing to a recession in the job numbers. Re: Krugman, it’s all about the momentum and it’s increasing on the downside.

    3) We’re breaking January support levels.

  29. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    I wish someone would grill the living crap out of the House Committee now questioning Prince, O’Neal and others. There is not a single one of them that wasn’t glad handing and slapping each other on the back until the shit hit the fan in August. Now ALL the blowhards, putting it nicely, act like sanctamoneous priests who were deceived. Schmucks!

  30. Fred commented on Mar 7

    Jobs data – isn’t the negative a good thing not just from the perspective of lowering rates but from the perspective of corporate margins? instead of waiting, companies are shedding expense – to be sure that has a lot of implications other than jobs – but, it does mean that companies are responding more quickly to changing economic conditions. we know that all of this has to occur coming off a robust growth period, so it’s not about the market reaching a theoretical percentage from the high. it’s really about whether or not going forward earnings are accurate.

  31. Pool Shark commented on Mar 7


    And all those laid-off workers (as well as all the other Joe 6-Packs who account for 72% of our GDP) will continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow?

    Consumer confidence falls to ALL TIME LOW of 33.1 from 48.5 last month and 92.3 a year ago)

    I think many of those companies are counting chickens before they’ve hatched, and many of their eggs are cracked…

  32. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    Oversight Committee? ROFLMAO! the only thing they oversaw was lining their own damn pockets.

  33. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 7

    Justin, Clemens was more entertaining. These blowhards make me sick. Not a damn one of them warned anyone about anything until the shite’ hit the fan which really is too damn late when you are charged with Oversight. Maybe they should be called, “The Clueless Committee Who Always Plays Cath-up”. Their santamoneous BS is sickening.

  34. Michael Donnelly commented on Mar 7

    How about that unemployment rate? Down 2 ticks now to 4.8%.

    Let me get this straight. CPS survey says there is 255,000 fewer jobs. So we assume they of course don’t want a job. And instead move 644,000 folks into the “Not looking for a job” catagory. And presto instead of 5.2% unemployment we get 4.8%

    True story, how sad.

  35. Fred commented on Mar 7

    Pool Shark – I agree that certain sectors will probably not recover (consumer electronics for example) for a long time but reported unemployment would need to get pretty high (like 10% or more), before you can say that the entire consumer market is in meltdown mode. Also, I would point out that over half of the US big caps generate profits overseas, so cutting cost here is a good thing for earnings. Everything has a limit but we have a long way to go before we can safely say the sky is falling. There are great companies that are weathering this. I like emerging markets telecom (not china, but latam for example), love/hate brazil but it does seem to have turned a corner and like US industrials who are poised internationally as well as in alt energy (GE for example). it’s a big world out there and it’s ironic that the US consumer is one of the last to truly integrate into the global economy – it will continue to be very painful I have to say though.

  36. American ZIRP commented on Mar 7

    Look at the hottie behind Darryl Issa trying to look interested. MOVE ISSA!

    Man, this committee is a bunch of jokers.

  37. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 7

    SPECTRE of Deflation, I know what you mean I was a regular on the yahoo CFC board during those days when he was selling and others were buying. I can’t count the numbers of times I mentioned that he was just grand-standing his stock, while selling into the buying pressure.

  38. stan commented on Mar 7

    What’s to worry (tongue in cheek)? We are losing jobs but making great strides in lower unemployment (lies, lies, lies)

  39. engineer al commented on Mar 7

    “What’s to worry? We are losing jobs but making great strides in lower unemployment.”

    Larry Kudlow? Ben Stein? Is that YOU?

  40. VJ commented on Mar 7

    LISA LYNCH, former Department of Labor chief economist:

    Well, Ray, when we look deeper into what was behind that decrease in employment that we saw for the month of February — and, as you noted, a revision down for January, as well — there’s a lot of bad news in this report.

    First of all, we had a decrease of 63,000. But if we took out gains in state and local employment, the private sector in the United States actually contracted 101,000 jobs in the month of February. And that’s the third month in a row that the private sector has actually experienced a net job loss.

    On top of that, there are a lot of people out in the labor market who are in part-time employment but actually want to work full-time. So we have 5 million people in the United States right now who would like to work full-time but, because of economic conditions, cannot find full-time employment and are only in part-time employment.


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