It’s great that it’s going to be Friday in any event…but then you add that it’s a jobs day on top of that and the wonkish heart skips a beat.
Expectations are for about 200K on total payrolls, 220K on private–implying 20k lost public sector jobs–and for unemployment to stay at 8.3% or maybe tick down a tenth. My model spits out 220K for both on private and total, implying zero on public sector, which would be an improvement. But free forecasts are worth what you pay for them–in fact, they’re probably worth about the same as expensive forecasts when it comes to monthly jobs.
Basically, month-to-month it’s a rear-view mirror exercise. A model with a good track record on average can be way off in a given month just based on statistical noise and sampling error.
But if the expectations are borne out, it will mean the establishment of a pretty solid trend of moderately positive job growth. Not enough to bring the jobless rate down as fast as we need, and nothing that couldn’t be toppled by nasty headwinds from a variety of sources (oil, fiscal drag are the top two worries). But a trend that could legitimately be viewed as pretty durable.