I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this; but I’m gonna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got shit to do

The headline number at 200K is decent. As always we care more about the internals.

  • Construction up 17K, almost all of which was non-residential specialty trades. I am guessing this means oil and gas extraction installations. Combined with the 8K mining jobs, that would mean 25K jobs in December from natural resource extraction. Don’t sneeze at this.
  • Manufacturing up 23K with metals and motor vehicles doing well. This is as expected.
  • Non-Durables were flat. I still need to spend more time with this but from looking at the industrial production data this is where we are weak. Its not clear what’s going on here. Is this trade related? Has there been some technology change I am not aware of? I don’t know, but non-durables have been surprisingly weak.
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade clocked in at 12K and 29K respectively. Not bad and consistent with rising consumer expenditures.
  • Transportation came in big at 50K on 42K couriers and messengers. I am not sure if that is a strike resolution of something, but keep that in mind.
  • Information managed not to fire people, coming in at 6K, call that a win.
  • Financial Services likewise clocking in at 2K
  • Professional and Business Services was weak at 12K with a particularly disconcerting drop of 8K in Temp workers. We always like to see temps going up as they lead the cycle
  • Ed and Health added 29K, YAWN
  • Leisure and Hospitality added 21K with a respectable 24K going towards food service. This is always important to me for several reasons. One, we don’t get a lot of real time data on food service despite it employing nearly as many people as manufacturing. Two, this is where the marginal worker gets a job. When you need “a job” you see if the local bar and grill is hiring. They are. That’s good for low skilled Americans.
  • Government shed12K workers with a still amazing 9K local government education workers. This has gone on well longer than I thought it would. Perhaps, it will keep going on but the fundamentals are not there. We should be adding teachers. Not in the moral sense but in the sense that retail sales, and hence sales tax revenues, are rising and class size is something that parents as consumers care a lot about.


All in all, it’s a decent report. In line with the Smithian view though we have to look harder at that messenger and courier number. We are seeing an increase in autos as expected. Construction has not yet kicked as expected.

The rest of the private sector economy is humming along at decent rate. Here is Private Sector Service growth over the last decade.

FRED Graph

Today’s number of 164K is well in the median of what would expect in the current climate.

Here is goods and government over the same period

FRED Graph

and a zoom in on the last year since I don’t know how to ex-census from FRED

FRED Graph

Today’s Goods and Government number of 38K is a nice positive and its really where we will be looking to for the strength in the economy as we move forward in 2012.

Most folks don’t work in Goods and Government but most of the action happens here. If Goods and Government starts clocking in with number like 75K to 100K then the economy will be booming.