Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Last word on the lack of jobs report

This will be the last word - for now - on today's labour force release.

It is very rare for employment to fall in two straight months.

Since 2002, it has happened only six times.

Two of those back-to-back falls in employment have been since June 2011 - in the two months to August 2011 and now the two months to December (confirmed in today's data).

Of the six occasions of consecutive monthly falls in employment, the most recent cumulative fall (-36,900) is the largest.

Three straight falls are even more unusual - since the early 1990s recession, it has happened only once (the three months to November 2000 as the terms of trade collapse and US tech-wreck was biting).

It would be a massive shock if employment doesn't rise when the January data are released next month.

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