The Huge March Non-Farm Payroll Miss

The March BLS Non-Farm Payroll numbers came in with expectations of 205K, but hit just 120K today. The unemployment rate did fall from 8.3% to 8.2%, mainly due to the fact that there are nearly 88 million Americans not in the labor force, a record high. January was revised down to 275K while February was revised up to 240K.

Free Exchange via FT Alphaville’s view on the miss;

There is a 90% chance that employment rose by between 20,000 and 220,000 jobs. The change in the number of unemployed from February to March was probably between (roughly) -400,000 and 150,000, and there’s a good chance that the unemployment rate is between 8.1% and 8.5%. Reported changes for important subsectors are too small relative to the margin of error to be worth discussing.

A revision might make the number look better, but that will not help the economy feel better. We are so far from the old “normal”, that it really does seem that this is the new “normal.”

Will another month of less than stellar growth numbers reverse the Fed’s recent opposition of a new QE?

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