Perspectives Blog

Snow job!

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

The Nonfarm Payroll report for December showed weaknesses that cannot be easily dismissed. Participation rate continues to fall; in the last year the labor force shrunk by a half-million. Beyond unusual weather-related effects, discomforting trends continue to show stress in the labor markets. The Nonfarm Payroll report for December was certainly an outlier showing payrolls rose a mere 74k (far below consensus of 197k). The private sector adde…

Steady as she goes

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | April 7, 2014

…showing little weather effects and probably some catch-up from prior weather disruptions. That said there are no indications either that job gains or growth is accelerating, other than to the 2% to 3% range expected. Nonfarm payrolls rose 192k in March with the 2 month net revision showing an additional 37k payrolls. The Q1 average gain of 178K is now pretty much back in line with prior quarterly gains of 198K in Q4 and 172K in Q3 and the 12 mon…

Yellen at Jackson Hole

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | August 25, 2014

…iption of current trends in the labor market and cumulative progress toward recovery was clearly upbeat. In the opening paragraph she noted the faster pace of payroll growth this year compared to previous years, the fact that payrolls now exceed their pre-crisis peak, and that the unemployment rate has declined almost four percentage points. If she wanted to stress why policy remains easy, we think Yellen would have opened the speech with a diffe…

U.S. rates — play for growth

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 10, 2013

…ossible hint in December press conference). We wonder whether front-end rates can remain anchored as growth picks up. The November employment report brought more positive news on U.S. activity, with a healthy gain in nonfarm payrolls of 203k. The three-month moving average continued to hover around 200k (193k this month), and the payroll diffusion indexes pointed to a broadening of gains. We were also encouraged to see a further acceleration in…

Signs point to an improving U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | December 9, 2013

…n October, if it was seen at all, was mostly reversed based on November labor market releases from BLS. Indeed, the business survey data maintained its recent strength, a precondition to any taper decision by the Fed. Nonfarm payrolls rose 203,000 in November with prior month’s revisions higher by 8,000. There was a big pickup in goods-producing industries, with service industry gains a touch slower. The former was flagged by rising overtime hour…