This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Jobs Report to Reflect Economic Headwinds

On Friday, the Labor Department will release February employment figures. Since December 2007, the economy has shed 8.4 million jobs. A sharp uptick in employment would indicate the recession is ending, while more job losses would indicate a double-dip recession is more imminent.

In recent weeks, new jobless claims have climbed, fueling pessimism among economists.

The consensus forecast is for payrolls to decrease by about 50,000 and for unemployment to tick up to 9.8% from 9.7%. Factoring in part-time workers who would prefer full-time work and discouraged workers who have quit looking altogether, the unemployment rate is closer to 16.5%.

The ADP private survey of employers for February, released Wednesday, indicated more job losses in February, but ADP forecasts have proven to be only a rough indicator of Labor Department reports.

In the employment report, key sectors to watch for signs of economic recovery are manufacturing, construction and retail sales.

Recent soundings by the Institute for Supply Management indicate manufacturing is picking up steam and more firms are adding employees than shedding them. In January manufacturers added 11,000, breaking a long losing streak, thanks to a 22,700 pickup in motor vehicles and parts production.

Trailing auto sales and troubles at Toyota are expected to dampen gains or push manufacturing employment down going forward. Though industrial production has been rising overall, many gains are in durable goods industries that have learned to make many more goods with fewer workers.

Preliminary retail sales are growing at a moderate pace -- perhaps 2% after inflation -- and in January that sector gained 42,100 jobs after losing 18,100 jobs in December. In February, East Coast blizzards likely put a dent in jobs growth that seasonal adjustments will not capture. Hence, an employment gain for February would be very good news, but a moderate decline will not necessarily indicate a great deal about future trends.

The $789 billion stimulus package has not been reflected in construction activity and employment statistics. Construction, like manufacturing, has consistently shed jobs during the recession, and lost 75,000 in January.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.47 -0.25%
FB $101.61 -0.29%
GOOG $681.89 -0.18%
TSLA $147.54 -1.90%
YHOO $26.77 0.04%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,888.33 +228.15 1.46%
S&P 500 1,853.17 +24.09 1.32%
NASDAQ 4,307.7790 +40.9420 0.96%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs