2017 Economic Calendar
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Employment Situation  
Released On 2/3/2017 8:30:00 AM For Jan, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change156,000 157,000 175,000 155,000  to 195,000 227,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level4.7 %4.7 %4.6 % to 4.7 %4.8 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change144,000 165,000 180,000 160,000  to 188,000 237,000 
Participation Rate - level62.7 %62.9 %
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change0.4 %0.2 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.1 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.3 hrs34.4 hrs34.4 hrs34.3 hrs to 34.4 hrs34.4 hrs

Highlights
In very positive news, payroll growth in January did indeed exceed expectations, rising 227,000 for the best showing since September and well above the 2016 average of 187,000. Construction spending has been improving and it's seen in payrolls where the sector added a very strong 36,000 jobs in the month. Finance employment follows at 32,000.

In a sign of labor market slack, the unemployment rate rose 1 tenth to what is still a very low 4.8 percent. This reflects new entrants into the labor market as the labor force participation rate, which has been depressed, bounced 2 tenths higher to 62.9 percent. The pool of available workers rose 183,000 in the month to 13.4 million.

The surprise in this report, and one that will not heat up expectations for a rate hike at the March FOMC, is surprisingly light wage pressure as average hourly earnings ticked only 0.1 percent higher with, importantly, December revised down from an initially hot 0.4 percent to a gain of only 0.2 percent. The year-on-year rate, which was skirting the 3 percent line in December's initial data, is now way back at 2.5 percent.

The mix of this report is non-inflationary sustainable growth: rising payrolls, new entrants, stable wages. ADP and jobless claims, not to mention jobs-hard-to-get in the consumer confidence report, were all signaling a stronger-than-expected employment report for January, something to remember ahead of the next employment report. Note that the net effect of revisions, which include annual bench marking and a population update, were negligible but did skew November lower (164,000 vs a prior 204,000) and September higher (249,000 vs 208,000).

Consensus Outlook
The Econoday consensus for January nonfarm payrolls is a solid 175,000, up from December growth of 156,000. The consensus for the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, unchanged from December. With unemployment low, wage data will be getting increasing scrutiny and average hourly earnings are expected to rise a sizable 0.3 percent in January vs December's outsized 0.4 percent increase. Possibly adding to January's pressure were state-level minimum wage increases. The average workweek is expected to rise 1 tenth to 34.4 hours.

Definition
The most closely watched of all economic indicators, the employment situation is a set of monthly labor market indicators based on two separate reports: the establishment survey which tracks 650,000 worksites and offers the nonfarm payroll and average hourly earnings headlines and the household survey which interviews 60,000 households and generates the unemployment rate.

Nonfarm payrolls track the number of part-time and full-time employees in both business and government. Average hourly earnings track employee pay while the average workweek, also part of the establishment survey, tracks the number of hours worked. The report's private payroll measure excludes government workers.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. In order to be counted as unemployed, one must be actively looking for work. Other commonly known data from the household survey include the labor supply and discouraged workers.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
During the mature phase of an economic expansion, monthly payrolls gains of 150,000 or so are considered relatively healthy. In the early stages of recovery though, gains are expected to surpass 250,000 per month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
[Chart]
The unemployment rate measures those who have a job relative to those who are actively looking for a job. During recessions, those actively looking may grow discouraged, dropping out of the workforce and, in a counter- intuitive twist, putting downward pressure on the unemployment rate. During times of economic strength, workforce dropouts may regain their confidence and begin actively looking for a job once again which puts upward pressure on the unemployment rate.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/62/33/104/75/56/27/78/49/110/611/312/8
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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