Economists Are Expecting A Big Drop In Today's Jobs Report – Here's What You Need To Know

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Later this morning, we get the first jobs report since President Obama was re-elected.

Economists polled by Bloomberg revealed a consensus estimate of an 85K rise in nonfarm payrolls in November, down from 171K the month before. Private payrolls are expected to rise 90K, down from 184K the previous month.

Manufacturing payrolls are actually expected to contract by 3K, down from the 13K rise recorded in October.

This week, various economic data releases pointed to a weakened labor market in the United States. Part of the weakness reflects the continuing recovery following the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, the ADP employment survey, a measure of job creation, fell to 118K from the previous month's figure of 158K. Economists expected 125K.

On Thursday, Challenger Job Cuts soared 34.4 percent year-over-year due to the effects of the Hostess Brands bankruptcy.

And JPMorgan strategist Hajime Kitano highlighted weakness in the employment sub-components of both ISM surveys (manufacturing and services), citing those figures as a reason why JPMorgan economists' house view for today's non-farm payrolls report was way too high.

Gallup surveys also predict a surge in unemployment to be reported today.

Weekly initial jobless claims figures on Thursday were one bright spot, falling to 370K from 393K the previous week and coming in below expectations of 383K.

Taking all of that into account, here are the views from Wall Street.

Deutsche Bank Chief US Economist Joe LaVorgna writes:

We expect the November employment report to be significantly depressed by Hurricane Sandy, and as a result, total nonfarm payroll gains are likely to be considerably weaker than the trend over the last few months. While this will contribute to economic sluggishness in the current quarter, the markets may be willing to look past this short term weakness and instead focus on the payback effect on hiring and output which is likely to manifest itself in H1 2013.

Societe Generale Senior US economist Brian Jones writes:

We expect the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ update on the employment situation in November to be a decidedly mixed bag. A tug of war between a calendar-induced surge in holiday season hiring and job losses associated with Superstorm Sandy probably left nonfarm payrolls 122,000 higher last month, after gains averaging 173,000 per month over the July-October span. 

JPMorgan Japan Equity Strategist Hajime Kitano writes:

The J.P. Morgan economics team estimates November non-farm payrolls to come in at +100,000. This could be too high, in my personal view. First, the manufacturing employment index has fallen below 50 for the first time since September 2009 at 48.4. The nonmanufacturing employment index was also announced last night, and at 50.3 it just stayed above the important 50 level but recorded its largest drop since March 2009 of 4.6pts MoM...I estimate that November manufacturing payroll will fall by 44,600 people while services payroll rises by 67,800. The total of these two figures is a net gain of 23,200, which is less than the consensus forecast for private-sector employment change (+90,000).

Citigroup Chief US Economist Robert DiClemente writes:

We think the employment report will be dominated by the effects of super storm Sandy. If this storm is anything like Katrina in 2005, there should be sharp pullbacks in payrolls in several sectors, including retail trade, restaurants and hotels. The trick will be separating out the underlying trend from the noise introduced by the storm. We take as a point of reference that the trend in payrolls has been about 150,000 for the past two years. So a notable drop-off from that pace would signal a storm effect.

UBS Chief Economist Maury Harris writes:

We forecast a below-consensus gain in payrolls (UBSe: 50k; cons: 87k); and we expect the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.0% (cons 7.9%). The weak payroll forecast reflects both a huge drag from Hurricane Sandy (an estimated -150k) and a large upward bias to payrolls from the early Thanksgiving this year (an estimated +75k).Challenger reported layoff announcements totaled 57k in November, up 34%y/y. As expected, the rise was led by 20k layoffs due to the Hostess bankruptcy. (Ex Hostess workers layoffs were down about 12% y/y in Nov.) Meanwhile, hiring announcements rose 29k in November after a 75k rise in October. Much of the rise recently has reflected a jump in the retail sector ahead of the holiday season: 12k jobs were announced by retailers in November after 45k in October and 414k in September. For comparison, last year, no plans were announced in November after 134k in October and only 71k in September.

The jobs report will be released at 8:30 AM ET. Follow the release LIVE on Money Game >



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