Jobs Report, from Bill Rafter

October 2, 2013 |

 It's funny that the jobs report is not compiled yet. The Labor Dept. must have the data they use, as that report consists of happenings through 9/12. We use Dept. of Treasury as our source and we have that information through 9/27. The Treasury data is generated electronically and we might get the 9/30 report later today unless they intervene.

Bottom Line: The YOY growth in payroll tax receipts (seasonally adjusted), which is our substitute for employment, is at the lowest level of the year, whether you mean calendar year or adjusted fiscal year. But of course, you might never see that report.

Let's say you were in charge of the Administration of a country in a similar circumstance. If you knew the jobs data was fantastic, would you release it? A good economic report might be taken to mean that the country was not as fragile as previously thought, and could therefore withstand a shutdown for a while. On the other hand, if the jobs data were bad, it might mean the country was very fragile, and that the Administration should compromise quickly, effectively forcing your hand. And of course in the latter scenario you should be embarrassed by the fact that nothing you had done economically for 5 years had been successful. Your best option might be to wait until you needed a trump card, and then pull it out of the hat. Plus (if you wanted) you would have additional time to massage the data.


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