Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

ADP, Challenger reports show tepid labor market

This is employment week in the markets, with several data points coming out on the labor market. This morning, Challenger, Gray & Christmas released its layoff report, which showed job cut announcements declining 21,408 on the month. This is the fourth month in a row of declines. Layoffs are still up 7.4% from a year earlier, but that is a much more moderate pace of increase than we've seen recently (47.3% YOY in April, for instance, or 180.7% in March).

Meanwhile, the ADP employment report showed the economy shedding 532,000 jobs in May. That was ever-so-slightly worse than the -525,000 forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg. April's reading was revised higher to -545,000 from -491,000. The May decline was the smallest since November.

Bottom line: The labor market still looks tepid/lukewarm, but it's not getting worse.


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