Friday, October 5, 2007

Unemployment Numbers

Here is why we need not invest based one months results.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 110,000 in September, the Labor Department said today. Just as important, August was revised to an 89,000 rise from a previous estimate of a 4,000 decline. That drop had been seen by Fed watchers as a catalyst in the Fed's surprisingly aggressive half-point federal funds reduction last month, its first in over four years.

Apparently they forgot to count the teachers that went back to work in September? what ever the case, the market is now in a sweet spot. There is evidence that housing is still taking a toll as hiring last month in goods producing industries fell by 33,000. Included in that number: manufacturing firms cut 18,000 jobs and construction employment was down by 14,000, the fifth decline in six months.

Now, seeing that private sector job growth has been anemic, but still positive and that does give the Fed more wiggle room to cut if it wished in October although the chances of that are weak. The most likely outcome has the Fed sitting and waiting to see what happens going into the holidays. The private sector numbers do bear watching though.

We have inflation under control, Fed funds were lowered and the economy, based on the jobs numbers is looking less likely everyday to have any chance of heading into a recession. Those numbers, as they are, give the Fed total flexibility to react to events as they see fit. If you are looking at investing in US equities, what's not to like?


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