The February jobs reports comes out tomorrow and forecasters are predicting about 235,000 new jobs for the month, down just slightly from January's 257,000. A preview of the report sent out by Goldman Sachs highlights four recent signs that could indicate weaker-than-expected numbers.
Manufacturing survey weakness. The employment components in recent manufacturing surveys have all gone down in February, and job growth in the manufacturing sector has slowed down in the last year.
Job availability. The Conference Board's labor differential (which compares respondents who says jobs are "hard to get" to those who say they are "plentiful") has been improving steady over the last year—but did take a small dip in February.
Job cuts. Previously announced layoffs, a recent refinery strike, and the steep drop in oil prices point to an employment dip in the energy sector.
Weather. It's a mess. Four major snowstorms in four weeks across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard. Of course, it's not all doom and gloom. Goldman notes that Jobless Claims fell in the weeks leading up to the survey, nonmanufacutring surveys are on the rise (particularly in the service sector), and online job ads are up in a wide range of other industries. The firm's prediction of 220,000 is below consensus, but by no means a disaster.
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