Farrell: Digging Into Those Jobs Numbers

The unemployment rate jumped to 10.2%, the worst in years.

190,000 jobs were lost and it was hoped the number would be -180,000 or so. The U6 rate of unemployment, which counts part-timers who want full time work and also workers who have dropped out of the game and stopped looking, rose to a record 17.5%. September and August were revised and 91,000 fewer jobs were lost in those months. The three month average of jobs lost is 178,000 which is a big improvement from earlier in the year.


The good news in the report is that temporary jobs rose by 34,000 and that is often an early warning signal of better days. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% but the average work week didn't budge and stayed at 33 hours.

The 10.2% is definitely an "ouch" since the labor force did not expand, and the 17.5% U6 is a "double ouch".

But temp jobs up and hourly earnings up are positive indicators, as is the three month moving average of jobs lost.

Looking at that three month number smooths out the emotion of the moment.

If we knew September's job loss was a negative 219,000 and not -263,000, and that August's was -154,000, not -201,000, our reactions would have been different.

My guess is for the very short term, oil goes down since the interpretation will be the economy is still struggling, and that gold goes up because the economy is still struggling, and that the market sells off because the economy is still struggling. _______________________________________