And like moth-to-flame, I rev up the hamsters, blindfold the chimp, and forecast the payroll numbers. My model spits out 140k for total payrolls and 150k for private, so I’m a bit below the consensus shown below. As always, I predict the unemp rate to tick up, down, or sideways.
Slightly more seriously, here’s a list of some of the economic headwinds and tailwinds in play right now vis-a-vis job creation. Whether they break through the low signal-to-noise ratio of the monthly employment numbers is another question.
Headwinds: downward revision to Q4 GDP; deceleration in underlying trend of job growth, unusually crappy weather–enough already, winter! (it’s a factor in much of the recent data, but I wouldn’t overdo it–you can see hints of trend deceleration in sectors less affected by the weather); housing hiccup; weak ADP, weakening currencies in Asia could restrain our exports going forward, stagnant wage growth for many (that’s important), Ukraine/geopolitical nervousness.
Tailwinds: energy sector, financial markets, “less bad” fiscal policy, steady-as-she-goes Fed, better credit access (though still some flow issues), improved trade balance, household balance sheets back in decent shape, Europe a bit stronger, EM capital outflows dissipating.
What’d I miss, commenters?