Friday, November 6, 2015

FOMC | Jobs Soar, Rate Hike Likely, But *100%*?

Payroll jobs in October exceed prior
months and forecasts.
The BLS reported this morning that nonfarm payrolls rose 271,000 in October, with a slight drop in unemployment to 5 percent.

The payroll-job increase was well above the 185,000 increase forecast by economists who do that kind of thing (a foolhardy activity, since a forecast on Thursday will definitely be proven wrong on Friday).

Caution: There will be another jobs report in early December before the FOMC meets in mid-December. But Bill Gross says there is a "100% chance" that the FOMC raises rates in December, regardless of the December jobs report.

The October increase is exceeds the 137,000 increase in September and a similar number in August, and paves the way for a December increase in the federal funds rate, which would be the first such move since the zero-bound level set in December 2008.

The Fed Funds rate has been at the zero bound for 7 years.
In January 2009 I posted a comment on the December 16, 2008 decision by the FOMC after hearing from Laurence Meyer, former Vice Chairman of the Fed.

Meyer recommended that the Fed take a long vacation, but I am pretty sure he didn't mean a vacation that would last this long.

The average monthly job growth for the three months August-October is about 150,000, well below the 210,000 per month first-half-2015 average.

The potential for a rate rise has pumped up the dollar to one-month high against the British pound and a three-month high against the euro.

Here are links to the BLS data:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0 percent. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.