Not-So-Private Payrolls


The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs by local governments. Factories, retailers, education, health care and an array of professional and financial services expanded payrolls.


I know we say this every time, but this non farm payrolls report feels like the big one.  The one that decides the next (first) interest rate hike.  The one that solidifies the Recovery in the eyes of Main Street and the non-financial press.  There’s nothing private about these private payrolls, the number and sentiment will spillover into the news all weekend.

Estimates and color via MarketWatch:

Friday’s payroll report from the Labor Department, due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, is expected to show 185,000 jobs created outside the farming sector during March. Private-sector payrolls may have back-to-back plus-200,000 readings for the first time in five years.

The unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 9% but that comes after several months of eye-popping improvement in the closely-watched indicator. The rate stood at 9.8% only four months ago.

The stock market has already broken out in anticipation of a good number, even factoring in a bit of this week’s customary quarter-end window dressing.

As Pamela Anderson says upon receiving the results of her latest hepatitis test, “We shall see”.


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