The all-important February jobs report is due out this Friday morning and my favorite - and most bullish - prognosticator is expecting big things.
Officially, consensus is for 165,000 new jobs being added for February, but Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller, Tabak & Co. thinks it will be much higher, and that an uptrend that began late last fall looks set to continue.
"The [ADP] revision to 215,000 (for January) means the government data stands a good chance of upward revision too," he says in the attached video. That said, he's keeping his guard up as worries about the weather, the impacts of higher payroll taxes and the uncertainty in Washington all should be factored in when assessing the number that will be released Friday by the Labor Department at 8:30a Washington time.
Another reason for Wilkinson's relative bullishness versus that of his peers, is the modest but steady decrease in the weekly initial claims data. "It is key when initial claims fall below 350,000. That's when job creation really begins," Wilkinson says, noting that the number has steadily fallen over the past few months and is now at 355,000, with continuing claims at levels not seen in five years.
His broader belief is that this will be a year of improving jobs data that tops overly pessimistic estimates. While that predicted string of positive surprises is fueling the stock markets already, there is some risk if expectations were to suddenly firm up.Read More »from A Year of Improving Payroll Growth Starts Tomorrow