Ignore January’s payroll employment gain of 257,000. The number, which was reported on Friday along with lots of other employment data, will be revised probably higher early next month when February’s jobs data are released. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the latest monthly payroll numbers, the previous two months are always revised. I have often observed that the numbers tend to be revised downward during recessions and upward during expansions.
Sure enough, November was revised higher for a second time by 70,000, following the first upward revision of 32,000. With a preliminary increase of 321,000, November is now showing a whopping gain of 423,000. December’s number was revised up by 77,000 to 329,000, and will probably be revised up again when February’s data are reported in early March. Revisions added 457,000 to last year’s 3.12 million jump in payrolls (December to December), the best full year since 1999.
Source: Ed Yardeni — Ed Yardeni is the president and chief investment strategist of Yardeni Research Inc., a provider of independent investment strategy and economics research for institutional investors.