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Analysis

US non-farm payrolls

by Gabriel Stein

Mon 7 Apr 2014

US non-farm payrolls Enlarge Chart loading Image

What the chart shows: The chart shows the monthly change in US non-farm payrolls, in thousands, the original and final estimates.

Why the chart is important: Although the Fed has abandoned its 6½% unemployment threshold, markets remain avid watchers of the monthly data. This remains puzzling; not only is the data a lagging indicator, it also tends to be revised twice, sometimes substantially so. However, the series can be useful in the sense that revisions tend to be upwards in a sustained upturn and downwards in a sustained downturn. Over the past 36 months, the original number has been revised slightly down four times and substantially upwards 25 times, with minor upward revisions seven times. The data confirm the US recovery. But they also show the risks of relying on this highly variable series for any forecast of either the economy or financial markets.

Chart and comments provided by Oxford Economics www.oxfordeconomics.com