What To Expect From Tomorrow's Jobs Report And One Troubling Chart

Remember all those hyperbolic warnings over the years that "this is the most important jobs report" ever? Well, the one due out tomorrow may not be that, but it certainly is one of the most important ones in the past year, and one that will certainly have an impact if not on the Fed's future actions then certainly on the market's (once again erroneous) expectations of what Yellen may do, especially if it is a +/- 60,000 outlier from the consensus estimate of 180,000.

Recall last month's "shocking" jobs print, when only 35,000 new jobs were created, the lowest number since September 2010?

Well, that one print was sufficient to convince the market there would be no more rate hikes in 2016 and most of 2017. A few weeks later, first the capitulatory June Yellen press conference and shortly after the just as "shocking" Brexit, effectively killed the rate hike cycle, with the market now pricing in one full rate hike (that is 0.25bps) all the way in 2018. As LIesman raged, "The Fed Is As Close To Capitulation As I've Ever Seen Them."

But maybe there is some hope still. If so, it will be revealed in tomorrow's payrolls report. As Bloomberg says, "the June jobs report will take on even more importance than usual. Economists and policy makers will use it to determine whether the strongest part of the economy slowed sharply even before concerns over global growth intensified, or if the labor market was merely hit by a temporary soft patch." Ignoring that jobs are among the most lagging economic indicators known, the general (confused) consensus about what payrolls indicate suggests an outsized market response may be forthcoming.

“There is a potential for a big reassessment on Friday for the outlook,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics Ltd. in Valhalla, New York. “Given how much views changed after the last report, I get the sense that the anticipation level going into this one is unusually high.”

Wall Street consensus expects 180,000 jobs to be added in June following the abysmal 35,000 in May. One benefit will come from the return to work of striking employees at Verizon. 35,100 Verizon employees ended their almost seven-week work stoppage on May 31. Once the strikers are factored out, “that does imply some net slowing of the trend,” O’Sullivan said. Still, that rate of hiring “remains more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down.”

Another "good" datapoint will be unemployment rate, expected to rise to 4.8% after falling to a more than eight-year low of 4.7% in May. This however was due to an exodus of workers from the labor force, as the participation rate resumed its plunge.

Earnings will also be closedly watched, with average hourly earnings expected to rise 0.2% in June from the month before and 2.7% Y/Y. However, if that again comes at the expense of yet another decline in hours worked it will be a clear stagflationary sign for the economy. Furthermore, since the wage number weakened in June 2015, a bigger bounce this year may be expected due to a base effect. Looking past that, there still seems to be a nascent acceleration in pay, said Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at BofA.

There is also the strawman of the Brexit effect. Bloomberg paints it as follows: "Brexit complicates things. With U.S. economic data now being pored over for signs of weakness, there’s extra downside risk associated with a bad payrolls number -- anything under 100,000, Harris said. Unfortunately, the report will offer little clarity on how employers reacted to the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU. With the referendum held June 23, any immediate impact to U.S. employment may have been limited, even as investors grew concerned that the global economy’s growth prospects have dimmed."

All of this is bunk, as Brexit will have had zero impact on US hiring (and firing) intentions for US corporations in the middle of last month, when the widely accepted probability of an actual Brexit outcome was virtually nil. Indeed, as the latest ISM surveys showed, producers expected a ‘negligible’ impact on their business due to Brexit and signaled they would probably not pare headcounts as a result of the vote.

And speaking of ISMs, except for the non-manufacturing ISM report, all of the service sector employment surveys declined or were unchanged in June, including the Markit PMI (-0.1 to 52.4), the New York Fed’s Business Leaders survey (-0.2 to +2.0, after our seasonal adjustment), the Dallas Fed services survey (-2.5 to +2.0), and the Richmond Fed services survey (unchanged at +18.0). Today's collapse in manufacturing jobs per the ADP report was the worst since 2010.

Then again, and it goes without saying, when one cuts through the chase, the only thing that will matter is what instructions the guy who mans the BLS' goalseek function is given.

* * *

What to expect from the market reaction? Here is a handy breakdown from one of the few voices on Wall Street we respect, BofA's Michael Harnett:

• Payroll risk is strong payroll (>225k) which causes relative outperformance of banks at the expense of bonds & quality stocks; strong US labor market & consumer data (note that US mortgage refi activity has been slowly creeping higher) that raises Fed hike expectations from the dead would lead to a short-term unwind of some very extended pair-trades across the world.
• In contrast, a weak payroll (<125k) removes “terra firma” of US expansion, would in absolute terms be best for gold & volatility, and would ultimately cause further barbell outperformance.

* * *

But perhaps the best indicator of what may be really coming tomorrow is the following chart showing the complete collapse in online help wanted ads: as shown below, the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online (HWOL) report showed another sharp drop in job posting in June, with the index now down 16% from its highs late last year.

On its face, this chart would suggest a collapse in payrolls, incidentally something that we have seen in recent months. But fear not: the intrepid economists at the Federal Reserve who are always and everywhere able, willing and ready to explain away any negative data point, already have a ready explanation - the collapse in online help wanted ads is due to... rising prices for Craigslist ads.

About 60 percent of online advertised vacancies are posted on only five of the largest job boards (?ahin et al., 2014). One of these five boards is Craigslist, which has used a particular business strategy in order to dominate the market for online vacancies. In particular, while its competitors like CareerBuilder or Monster typically charge $250-$500 for a 1-2 month job ad, Craigslist initially entered all geographical markets by allowing employers to advertise job postings for free. As a result, Craigslist "rose from near obscurity in 2005 to become a major contender, if not the leader, in online job posts by 2007" (Kroft and Pope, 2014). However, over time Craigslist gradually moved away from the model of free online vacancies and began charging $25 for a job ad in many metropolitan areas (Table 1). Moreover, at the end of 2015 Craigslist raised fees from$25 to $35 or$45 in selected metropolitan areas. All told, the average price for Craigslist job ads rose substantially, and roughly doubled since the end of 2012 (Figure 2), coinciding with the period when online vacancy posting as measured by HWOL noticeably underperformed the JOLTS vacancy growth.

In this note, we suggest that interpreting the measure of job vacancies from HWOL data requires careful consideration of changes in the quickly-evolving market for online job postings. We have analyzed one such change--rising prices for Craigslist job postings--which explains an important part of the recent divergence between JOLTS and HWOL vacancies. Our finding is reminiscent of similar concerns about the now obsolete Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads, which was affected by changes in advertising practices and changes in competition within the newspaper industry (Abraham, 1987). Given the critical nature of HWOL data in tracking the health of the US labor market, we believe the adjustments proposed here are a step towards improving analysts' ability to interpret these data and can lead to a fuller understanding of labor market developments in real time.

In short, if tomorrow's jobs report is another epic disaster, we expect that the following blog post on the federal reserve website will mysteriously disappear. On the other hand, if June payrolls soar by 200,000 or more, well, just blame the greedy capitalists at Craigslist.

Comment viewing options

TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Jul 7, 2016 10:40 PM

Rainbows and Unicorns

Aristotle of Greece (not verified) TradingIsLifeBrah Jul 7, 2016 10:42 PM

Yep. America is NEVER getting better.

Leave. Then it'll be a little better. One less bible thumping nutbag Taliban around.

Whatever they can manufacture to knock Gold and hurt Trump.  That is who and what we have come too!

I got a sneaking suspicion it's gonna be awful, then again it doesn't seem to matter to the algos once they do a little momentum ignition.

I'm voting for <125k

Stuff the Fed blog post into the memory hole.

Nope . They will pull a number right out of thier ass that will monkey hammer gold and boost the beast of bengahzi . 275 +

job numbers in th emorning will shock people I am sure.

this blog here, => http://bit.ly/29CY8J0 who I read is very good and accurate with his stock market calls. and he is saying do not be fooled by this rally in the US, we could be seeing a freight train about to run over investors asshole. Tooot tooot! LOL

Lick my freshly soiled crack you SPAMtroll.

90% of Americans know the economy and job situation sucks ass.

The more TPTB lie the more they lay the foundation of their reckoning.

The EU Banking collapse next week will make Fridays jobs numbers look like a quick bedtime story.

If they hammer gold today as I suspect I am backing up the boat again.

The number will be whatever they want it to be... I think 150 with prior Rev up.... say to 125...

It doesn't really matter

At least we know 2 people have Job Security, Loretta Lynch and Jin Comey

no matter how many midgets get hired they will ramp it...we gotta elect hitlery

Trump will be put in the oval office, and then they will collapse what is left of the system and blame conservatives.

My guess conerning the Wall Street shakers and movers ......good news will be well "good news".... bad news will be well "good news".... and the train just keeps rolling along...

Just watch crude oil tomorrow for the usual friday pump, im 100% sure the fucking scum of the earth will be buying bright and early.

Mark Zandi will claim more job growth no matter what.

Mark Zandi thinks he's on the short list for Secy of the Treasury ---- under HRC.

posting jobs can easily be manipulated - to use for whatever purpose necessary - the job additions can be as low as 10 hour a week job which is conflated to fulltime job when counted as new job - the numbers are corrupted for so many metrics - they are ruining credibility in data for serious people to use in make forward decisions.

The more they do this  - the worse economics get - as decision makers pull back

I guess all the new hires were responding to "help wanted" signs posted in the restaurant window instead of online job ads.

This is my 324th "Most Important Jobs Report....Ever".....

I'm offically BullBearish

They can make up any number they want.

After all unless there is "Intent", all it does is move the markets in the direction that those who were told the number before it's released have postioned themselves......AS LONG AS THERE IS NO INTENT

Yes this is the answer.Do you think anything will be  'unexpected'?
h it =?+? i+?t+?j=0L?jPit?j+?it,

all currencies around the globe are up against the wall. except for usd. export industry is gonna take a hit. do not expect a miraculous jump tomorrow. job numbers are going to be dismal at best. low rates are a cancer which is here to stay

all currencies around the globe are up against the wall. except for usd. export industry is gonna take a hit. do not expect a miraculous jump tomorrow. job numbers are going to be dismal at best. low rates are a cancer which is here to stay

Another precious metals rally again.

Maybe gold could pass $1400 and silver$21

Its gonne be good

Its gonne be good