Jobs Establishment Survey

  • Jobs November: 261,000
  • Jobs December: 184,000
  • Jobs January: 273,000.
  • Jobs February: 273,000.
  • Jobs Nov-Feb: 991,000

Employment Household Survey

  • Employment November -8,000
  • Employment December +267,000
  • Employment January -89,000
  • Employment February +45,000
  • Employment Nov Feb: +215,000

U3 Baseline Unemployment

  • U3 November: 3.5%
  • U3 December: 3.5%
  • U3 January: 3.6%
  • U3 February: 3.5%
  • U3 Net: 0.0%

U6 Unemployment

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  • U3 November: 6.8%
  • U6 December: 6.7%
  • U6 February: 7.0%
  • U6 Net: -0.2%

What's Happening?

  1. In December and January, warm weather padded construction jobs.
  2. In January and February, government hiring padded jobs.
  3. In both cases, seasonal adjustments compounded the improvement.

Convergence

  • We have seen these kinds of divergences before and they converge over times.
  • However, the reports often converge due to revisions in one direction or another.

What is more likely in this case?

Given the huge seasonal adjustments and escalating coronavirus threat, I suggest the next set of revisions will be a convergence towards lower jobs and increasing unemployment rather than the other way around.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock