Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jobs market remained muted in September

On Friday, the Labor Department releases its "official" report on state of the job market in September. But two private organizations have announced their own takes on things this morning. What do the numbers show? A muted job market, but one that was in slightly better shape than it was in August.

* The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas tallies monthly job cut announcements in the U.S. economy. It counted 71,739 layoffs in September, down from 79,459 in August. On a year-over-year basis, cuts dropped 28.5%.

* Financial firms continue to lead the layoff announcement parade, with almost 8,600 cuts in September. Makers of consumer goods and food were next in line among industry groups. Challenger said auto industry layoffs were easing up, however.

* The payroll processing firm ADP also announced its latest jobs data. The company says private nonfarm jobs rose by 58,000 in September, up from a gain of 27,000 in August. Goods-producing firms shed 39,000 jobs, while service providers boosted hiring by 97,000.

Again, these figures are no reason to jump for joy. The chart above shows the net monthly gain in jobs, as reported by ADP, and you can see that the trend clearly been weakening. But September was a marginally better month than August.

The bond market isn't reacting much, with 10-year yields essentially unchanged and long bond futures off a "whopping" 1/32.


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