U.S. April 2012 Monthly Unemployment Report Could Be The Most Significant Data Point This Year So Far:
This Friday, May 4 2012 may be one of the most important days for economic data so far this year. The unemployment data for the month of April 2012 will be released and it will set the tone for the rest of the summer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will unveil the latest unemployment figures at 8:30 ET and based on the initial jobless claims numbers for the month of April, we believe it’s possible the lower range of 100,000 to 120,000 is more likely than some of the mid-range economic data predictions we’ve seen at 200,000 or more.
Jobs gains have been slow for the last 3 months barely budging from 8.3 percent unemployment in January 2012. Some categories of the unemployed are actually worse off compared to a year ago such as teenagers and those with some college experience or an associate degree.
The economic data cooling could be good for U.S. equities and those expecting more quantitative easing. Although earnings numbers have been beating estimates, this can’t continue without jobs growth so while earnings drive stocks – there won’t be much profit expansion with a high jobless rate. We believe Chairman Bernanke already has a course of action lined up and could begin signaling more action soon.
If unemployment rises in the next month or two, it could easily be argued that Bernanke and the Fed didn’t move soon enough, a charge that was made immediately after the 2007 crisis. GDP last week was revealed as a measly 2.2 percent and could fall below trend in the next quarter if unemployment growth has stalled. A slow jobless recovery will have long term damaging effects on the U.S. economy and Europe debt crisis seems to be worse than a year ago with headline risk increasing weekly.
|Unemployment Rate (National – All Categories)||8.9||8.3||8.3||8.2|
|Civilian labor force||153,392||154,395||154,871||154,707|
|Unemployment Rate – Teenagers (16 to 19 years)||24.5||23.2||23.8||25|
|Unemployment Rate – Some college or associate degree||7.4||7.2||7.3||7.5|