What the Fed Will Be Looking at in Today’s Employment Report

Today’s employment report may be hard to read: The severe weather in the Northeast and Midwest affected the Labor Department’s data-collection process. The weather has been so disruptive that department  employees can’t even get into the office on time to release this morning’s report. For the first time ever, it’s being released online.

But as I am so fond of writing, no one monthly report matters very much. Rather, it is the trend of job loss or creation that matters. Toward that end, I will ignore this month’s release and discuss what has been going on during the past 12 months.

I believe there are several areas that warrant your attention, if only for the reason that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is watching them as well.

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  1. VennData commented on Mar 6

    The recent Whitewater revelations will make us shut down the Fed and their unfair rates. Why our Fox News demographic would be getting 5% on their passbook savings in FDIC insured accounts, more than enough to cover the Fannie Mae 30-year fixed if only the fed would hike rates. I won’t even mention Medicare and the healthy funding of the Department of Homeland security… and low taxes.

    The rest of the world’s bond prices don’t matter. We are America and we don’t need those other countries, except for when we want to invade the Middle East.

    So I implore you to add another audit onto the Fed because I’m angry and these jobs reports are lies.

    Janet Yellen doesn’t love America

    – Rudy Guliani

  2. WickedGreen commented on Mar 6

    All to the good, BR, and here’s another reason you don’t hear much about how relatively unimportant these monthly #’s are (especially in finance-friendly ‘media’):

    Particularly because a lot of these jobs are lowest-tier, low-wage, non-unionized, and mostly private-sector, they will be shed, nay, dumped, at rates that will make these incremental gains seem miniscule when the top-office titans next get spooked.

    Just like we saw in 2007-09.

    Book it.

    • willid3 commented on Mar 6

      just like we saw from 2001 – 2008.

      not much has changed

      and wages seem to still be flat

  3. DeDude commented on Mar 6

    Krugman was talking about NAIRU and Calculated risk always gives some very informative graphs for employment:


    The two things that are still extreme are “part-time for economic reasons” and long-term unemployment. The reason we don’t have wage pressures at 5.5% unemployment rate is that we instead have “full time job” pressure that needs to be “used up” before the wage pressure will appear. In other words employers have cut back by forcing people into part-time jobs that carry less wage and benefit cost. At this point employers are forced to either hire someone who has not had a job in a very long time, or to hire people into full time jobs – that is still preferable to increasing wages for full time employees (which is more expensive because it often diffuse into wages for those already working full time).

    So the old time correlations between unemployment rates and wage gains have changed because employers have become more cold and ruthless in their treatment of workers.

    In other words the old time NAIRU is dead and we need a new concept that takes into account the rates of long-term and part-time unemployed. Someone with a computer and a free afternoon, please create that.

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