Interest Rate Roundup

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jobs data dissection

Some quick thoughts on this morning's July jobs report:

* Big rally in bonds off these jobs numbers in the early going. Report showed gain of below-consensus 113,000 jobs, a pop UP in the unemployment rate to 4.8% (highest since February) from 4.6%. Average hourly earnings (an inflation gauge) showed a 0.4% gain vs. the 0.3% forecast. But traders paid no attention.

* There were big gains in services employment (education, health care), but losses in manufacturing and residential construction (somewhat offset by gains in non-residential construction). Looks like manufacturing weakness was concentrated in tech, autos, textiles, and apparel.

There were plenty of jobs in finance (lots of global M&A, corporate debt sales, etc.) and transportation (shipping cheap goods from China and moving expensive commodities around the country). Lots of growth also in "You want fries with that?" jobs (food service/restaurants).

* An index showing how many industries added jobs vs. did not add jobs was the weakest since last September.


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