The Biden administration has really outdone itself.
With everyone – even the most hardened bulls – expecting the September jobs report to be not only the weakest of 2023 but to presage a big drop in future payrolls data, moments ago the BLS reported that in September the US added a whopping 336K jobs, the highest monthly increase since January…
… and not only double the consensus estimate of 170K, but above the highest sellside estimate of 250K!
In fact, at 336K vs a median forecast of 170K, today’s print was the first 6-sigma beat of expectations in a long time.
Furthermore, having become the butt of all data goalseeking jokes in recent months after revising every single month in 2023 lower, the BLS decided to show people who is boss and revised not only August but also July higher: the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 79,000, from +157,000 to +236,000, and the change for August was revised up by 40,000, from +187,000 to +227,000. With these revisions, employment in July and August combined is 119,000 higher than previously reported.
Looking at the unemployment rate, things here were not quite so good, with the rate unchanged at 3.8% from last month, above expectations of a modest drop to 3.7%, as Black unemployment increased while Hispanic unemp dropped.
Meanwhile wage growth continued to cool, and in September average hourly earnings increased 0.2%, below the 0.3% expected, and resulted in a 4.2% increase YoY, down from 4.3% in August…
… as a result of a big bump in lower paying jobs.