Yet again, lower than the trend (181,000) and expectations. However, we believe that the reported Food & Services (Leisure) sector numbers will be revised in future to register a gain, rather than a loss, and this may add back in 25,000 or more jobs to today’s reported gain. The reported 29,000+ increase in government education jobs, although a seasonal-adjustment artifact, was anticipated by the trend projection.
The main contributor to reported jobs growth came from the Trade, Transportation & Utilities sector, where growth was fairly even across the Retail, Wholesale and Transport/Warehousing sub-sectors.
Construction came in with a 20,000 growth number, half of which came from a surge in Specialty Trade Contractors which looks so high as to be perhaps seasonal-adjustment related.
Note the one sector with job losses: Leisure & Hospitality. This was due to Food & Services as noted above.
August’s payroll growth was revised upwards today by 24,000 to give an August gain of now 193,000.
Strikingly, July’s total growth was revised down to only 89.000. This was originally reported, in July, as a growth of 162,000. It was first revised down to 111,000 in last month’s survey. Note, however, that the BLS does not use the true, revised figure for June’s employment level when calculating uly’s revised growth. We estimate the the true July increase currently stands at 96,000.
Of some concern to hopes for private job creation is the chart below of the rolling 3-month gain in Private Non-Farm jobs. Whereas this was in the region of 700,000 in February of this year, it is now showing a 400,000 increase in jobs over the past three months.
Government jobs have shown a gain in each of the past two months, but these are – we believe – a seasonal adjustment residual.
As for the effect of the Federal Government shutdown on next month’s numbers, that will be reviewed in a later post.
Last month we predicted a continued rise in teacher levels, which we ascribe to seasonal adjustment issues. This month, indeed, State and Local Government were estimated to have added some 29,300 jobs after seasonal adjustment. To place this number in context, the underlying non-seasonally adjusted increase in jobs was estimated at 12,292,000. it can be seen that this annual, back-to-school step-jump is hard to convert to a seasonally-adjusted figure.
We also took a look at the Motion Picture industry last month, expecting and observing a rebound this month. There was, however, no marked revision to the August seasonally-adjusted drop.
The trend forecast for September Food & Services jobs was for a 23,000 increase, whereas today’s release reports a 7,100 loss. Again, a seasonal pattern is at play here, and we would expect asize-able upward revision for this figure in due course.