2018 Economic Calendar
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Employment Situation  
Released On 5/4/2018 8:30:00 AM For Apr, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm Payrolls - M/M change103,000 135,000 191,000 145,000  to 255,000 164,000 
Unemployment Rate - Level4.1 %4.0 %3.9 % to 4.1 %3.9 %
Private Payrolls - M/M change102,000 135,000 190,000 150,000  to 250,000 168,000 
Manufacturing Payrolls - M/M change22,000 15,000 11,000  to 25,000 24,000 
Participation Rate - level62.9 %62.9 %62.8 % to 63.0 %62.8 %
Average Hourly Earnings - M/M change0.3 %0.2 %0.2 %0.2 % to 0.3 %0.1 %
Average Hourly Earnings - Y/Y change2.7 %2.6 %2.7 %2.6 % to 2.8 %2.6 %
Av Workweek - All Employees34.5 hrs34.5 hrs34.5 hrs to 34.5 hrs34.5 hrs

Highlights
Wage pressures may not be going up right now, but given the solid pace of job growth and the dwindling labor force, they may be appearing soon. Nonfarm payrolls rose 164,000 in April which is on the low side of expectations but revisions, at a net 30,000 gain in March and February, help make up the difference. Payroll growth includes a solid and slightly better-than-expected 24,000 gain in manufacturing with construction up 17,000, mining up 8,000, and professional business services up a sizable 54,000.

But the gains are drying up the available workforce with the number of unemployed falling 239,000 to 6.346 million. This is reflected in the unemployment rate which fell 2 tenths and is now below 4 percent at 3.9 percent. These are tight labor conditions, underscored by the Federal Reserve's forecasts where 3.8 percent is the median for the year.

What's not happening apparently is that employers are not having to pay more to attract workers. Average hourly earnings inched only 0.1 percent higher on the month to 2.6 percent on the year, which are both below expectations. And revisions to March nail home the point, down one notch for both the monthly and yearly rates. How long can this go on is the ongoing riddle of this expansion.

Right now, however, the mix is a good one: inflation-free expansion of the labor market. Other data include a downtick in the labor participation rate, to a lower-than-expected 62.8 percent to further highlight tight conditions, and also a noticeable pickup in manufacturing hours which, together with the gain in manufacturing payrolls, points to increasing acceleration for the factory sector.

Consensus Outlook
Following an unusually weak March, nonfarm payrolls are expected to resume much of their prior strength. April nonfarm payrolls are seen rising a very respectable 191,000. And movement is the call for the unemployment rate which is expected to dip 1 tenth to 4.0 percent which would increasingly point to full employment and the risk of wage inflation. Yet wage pressures aren't expected to appear in April's report with the monthly consensus for average hourly earnings at only 0.2 percent growth with the yearly rate seen holding steady at 2.7 percent. Private payrolls are expected to rise 190,000, the same as the nonfarm headline, with manufacturing payrolls expected to post another solid month, up 15,000. The workweek is seen unchanged at 34.5 hours and the labor participation rate coming in unchanged at 62.9 percent.

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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/23/94/65/46/17/68/39/710/511/212/7
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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