TrimTabs Payrolls Less Positive Than ADP Ahead of BLS Payrolls

Jon C. Ogg

Investors and economists alike do everything they can to guess the nonfarm and private sector payrolls from the U.S. Department of Labor on the first Friday of each month. ADP is the most common preview, but TrimTabs also previews the payrolls. Each has their own methodology and source of information, but their numbers are often very different. When the September payrolls reading from the Labor Department was so weak, it was TrimTabs that proved more accurate.

So now we have the payrolls gains projected for October from TrimTabs. They signal that the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in October, up from 149,000 jobs in September.

TrimTabs’ always notes that its employment and payrolls estimates are based on analysis of daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from the paychecks of the 143 million U.S. workers subject to withholding. Also, unlike the initial Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, TrimTabs’ does not revise its estimates to avoid the large revisions in subsequent months.

TrimTabs also said that growth in income tax withholdings improved slightly in October. Its formal quote for October payrolls said:

The U.S. economy lost a bit of steam in the past couple of months. Job creation in September and October fell to the lowest levels this year. … Modest job growth gives the Federal Reserve a reason not to be a Grinch in the holiday season. But we suspect the Fed’s decision will hinge more on the performance of financial markets than on the health of the labor market.

ADP suggested earlier on Wednesday that the U.S. private payrolls grew by 182,000 jobs in the month of October. Dow Jones was projecting 180,000 and Bloomberg was projecting that the prior figure would be 185,000. ADP’s September report was revised to 190,000 from the preliminary 200,000 report.

As far as what to expect from Friday’s key unemployment and payrolls report, we have to look backward before we can look ahead. The preliminary September payrolls report from the BLS was a huge disappointment at only 142,000. As for this Friday, the Bloomberg consensus estimate for October’s report is 190,000 in nonfarm payrolls (with a range of 150,000 to 240,000) and a consensus of 174,000 in private sector payrolls (with a range of 140,000 to 230,000).

Stay tuned.

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