TrimTabs Calls Labor Market Much More Cautiously Than ADP

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One report that acts to set the tone or bias for each month’s U.S. Department of Labor payrolls and unemployment report is the ADP report. That report for February acted to bolster and support solid expectations for Friday. A competing precursory report is issued by Trim Tabs each month ahead of the Labor Department report. Trim Tabs has something very different to say about payrolls growth in February than what ADP said.

TrimTabs estimated that the United States added a mere 55,000 to 85,000 jobs in February. If this proves right, it is the lowest level since July of 2013. Another warning came from TrimTabs here: real growth in income tax withholdings turned negative in February as well.

This reading of 55,000 to 85,000 was based on real-time income tax withholdings.

TrimTabs did report just a week earlier that the real growth in withholdings has been decelerating since last autumn and turned negative in February on a year-over-year basis. The firm also hinted that this may be predicating recessionary trends.

Bloomberg shows that the consensus estimates for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) payrolls report due on Friday morning is 190,000 in nonfarm payrolls and 183,000 in private sector payrolls.

TrimTabs’ David Santschi said in his report:

The labor market is not nearly as robust as the conventional wisdom believes. Employment growth has been below 200,000 for six consecutive months… Given the weakness in real-time tax data as well as the market volatility early this year, the Fed isn’t likely to raise interest rates again anytime soon.

TrimTabs’ employment estimates are based on analysis of real-time daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from the paychecks of the 141 million U.S. workers subject to withholding. TrimTabs differs from the BLS in that its figures are not subject to revision long after their initial release.