Art Cashin Explains Why Several Hundred Thousand Jobs Are About To "Vaporize"

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago we learned that when MF Global goes bankrupt, billions in cash can just "vaporize" (no, really - see here, and of course, in the passive voice. can't say something like Jon Corzine vaporized $1.2+ billion in client money now can we). Next we have Art Cashin explain why it is that the US economy is about to see several hundred thousand jobs "vaporize" as well. Perhaps "vaporize" should be the motto of the current Administration: confidence "vaporized", hope "vaporized", and "evaporation" you can believe in, as it condenses on the teleprompter...

From Art Cashin UBS Financial Services:

Disappointing Jobs - While everyone seems to debating what the non-farm payroll numb will be Friday, a few are looking toward the annual revisions in the much debated Birth/Death model.

As you probably recall, it does not refer to the birth or death of humans. The badly named model refers to the birth and death of businesses. Each January the BLS revises the number, usually vaporizing thousands of jobs.

We were going to try and calculate the likely revision, but our sharp-eyed friend over at Bloomberg, Rich Yamarone, as usual, beat us to it. Here’s what he wrote in his Notepad column recently:

The Net Birth/Death (NBD) statistic adjustment – an adjustment the BLS uses to account for job creation or loss with respect to births and deaths of businesses – is always the weakest during January. Over the last five years the NBD for January has averaged -335k. [January 2011: -339k, January 2010: -427k, January2009: -356k, January 2008: -378k, January2007: -175k.]

So, if past is prologue, we could see three or four hundred thousand jobs vanish. Nothing like a dependable indicator.