Friday, February 5, 2010

More Confusion

Futures are everywhere after the non farm payroll report which showed a loss of 20,000 jobs in January but a drop in the employment rate to 9.7%.

Confusion is everywhere as reporters are trying to square an unsquareable number.

This was on the front page of cbs.marketwatch.

U.S. economy sheds 20,000 nonfarm jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate to its lowest level since last summer.

HA. So we lost jobs which pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level. Hilarious. As most of you know the Non Farm Payroll Report is actually made up of two reports. Job losses are measured by surveying actual companies the unemployment rate is measured by surveying people.

The people survey has all kinds of requirements that to be counted you have had to look for a job in this many days etc. My guess is the participation rate in people actively looking for jobs must have plummeted. I'll find out later. Regardless, in general you need an increase of 100,000 jobs for the unemployment rate to stay the same. Obviously you can see the dichotomy with this number.

Futures were down 1% at one point. If this gets a bid in the market and brings a bounce I think it will be a gift to short.

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