NFP Numbers Suggest US Recovery Is Slowing

For the second month in a row the Non-Farm Payroll number was well shy of the trade’s conservative estimate.
Rather than the 163K anticipated, the report showed only 115K of new April jobs.

It is unfortunate the traders place so much emphasis on the NFP numbers for market guidance. These numbers are not predictable, and they may be adjusted so many times they are hardly reliable. As an example, the March NFP was adjusted up 34K to 154, and the Feb number was adjusted up by 19K to 259K. Who knows where any of these numbers will be six months from now.

The total unemployment number dropped to 8.1%, down one tenth of a percent. To get the drop in the unemployment rate, some 342,000 people, according to the Labor department, dropped out of the work force. This means the labor force has been reduced to 87,897,000, or just 64.3% of the working age population, a 30 year low.

Dept. of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, many contend, is messaging the numbers, an attempt to keep her job, as well as the job of her boss. What cannot be ignored, as reported in the WSJ:

“…the focus on headline unemployment figures ignores that there are still 5.2 million fewer jobs since the downturn began.”

If the population growth, during this period is considered, the unemployment rate is much higher than reported, some claim over 11%..

The US Equity markets are turning sharply lower, along with crude oil, down over $3.00/barrel. The USD was lower but has since come back. European election outcomes not helping.

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