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Good news/bad news: ADP, BLS job growth views conflict

|By: , SA News Editor

The good news is that most of this week's economic reports came in on the stronger side.

But digging deeper, the picture may not be so clear. ADP job growth report came in stronger than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' report.

And though the BLS's nonfarm payrolls headline number trailed consensus, the U-6 — an unemployment metric that includes part-time workers who want full-time jobs and those who have stopped looking for work — fell to 6.7%, a record low.

Stronger-than-expected: ADP reports 202K jobs added in December, exceeding the consensus for 157K, and the strongest reading in eight months.

    Initial jobless claims this week fell more than expected to 214K vs. consensus of 219K and prior week's reading of 223K.

    December ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 55.0 vs. 54.5 estimate and 53.9 in November; business activity improved while new orders declined.

    Last month, the PMI services index notched in at 52.8, vs. 52.2 consensus and 51.6 prior; the composite at 52.7 also beat the estimate of 52.2 and increased from 52.0 in November.

    The international trade deficit narrowed again in November to $43.1B vs. $46.9B in October and did better than the -$43.9B consensus, mostly due to lower imports.

    Factory orders weren't quite as bad as expected in November; -0.7% vs. -0.8%% consensus.

In-line: December unemployment rate of 3.5% matches consensus and was unchanged from November.

Weaker-than-expected: December job growth of 145K trails the +164K consensus and slows from 258K jobs added in November; average hourly earnings rose 2.9% Y/Y, less than the 3.1% estimate.

    November wholesale inventories fell 0.1% at $674.9B, reversing a 0.1% rise in October; consensus expected no change.

Coming up next week: On Tuesday, December consumer price index; on Wednesday, December producer price index; on Thursday, December retail sales, import/export price indes, and January Philly Fed manufacturing index; on Friday, December building permits, housing starts, and industrial production, November job openings, and January UMich consumer sentiment.

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