investmentcontrarians.com / By George Leong / March 8, 2013
Today, all eyes will be focused on the February non-farm jobs numbers report. I will be keenly watching to see if the economy can churn out jobs in spite of the somewhat sluggish recovery in America and the weak demand from the European and Chinese economies.
The private Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Employment Change, which is more closely correlated with the more important non-farm jobs numbers reading, was positive at 198,000 new jobs created in February, but not overwhelming versus the upwardly revised 215,000 in January. The number beat the Briefing.com estimate of 150,000 jobs, but it was the lowest reading since October 2012. In fact, the ADP jobs numbers have declined in the last three straight months, which is not exactly a good sign.
The market needs to see the jobs numbers steadily improve. While we likely are far away from the 500,000 or so new jobs needed each month that indicate a healthy economy, we still need to see jobs growth to continue at close to the current level and for the unemployment rate to hold below eight percent in order to offer any hope of a sustained jobs recovery.
Chart copyright Lombardi Publishing Corporation 2013; data source: Automatic Data Processing web site, last accessed March 7, 2013