Jobs Today

Today’s jobs report is a pretty good step in the right direction, even though the top line number of 103,000 jobs disappoints.  While just about everyone was expecting a number closer to 150,000, the October and November upward revisions are a positive surprise that cancels out the disappointment that December came in below expectation. Also, seasonal factors are really crazy this time of year, with holiday hiring, snow, and Internet shopping interacting in ways that are pretty tough to quantify. My guess is that the January number will surprise significantly on the upside because of these factors. The big drop in the unemployment rate is closer to the right message to take from this report than the weak jobs number.