Despite mixed to horrible marks for the quality of the bill as a solid solution to the nation’s long-term revenue and expense woes (one former budget official from the Clinton administration speaking earlier today on Bloomberg Radio gave it a D-), last night’s passage of HR 8 – The Tax Relief Extension Act – has spurred significant gains across global markets. U.S. markets closed up roughly 2-3% for the day, and markets in Europe rose about the same. If such a widely panned piece of legislation that does little more than defer ever-growing battles for just 60 days can generate such a positive reaction in the markets, imagine what Friday’s jobs report will do.
According to LinkUp, job gains in the U.S. in December will be far higher than the 150,000 predicted by most economists. In fact, based on its job search engine data from earlier in Q4, LinkUp is forecasting that the U.S. added more than 300,000 jobs last month. Equally as significant, based on LinkUp data from November and December, job growth will remain similarly strong throughout the first quarter.
Last October, new job openings listed on company websites throughout the U.S. rose by 15.9%, while total job listings on corporate websites rose 12.2%. Given that a job opening posted on an employer’s corporate website is the strongest indicator of a future hire (typically about 60 days down the road in the current hiring environment), LinkUp’s data points to a very strong Employment Situation Report this Friday from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. While consensus forecasts predict that only 150,000 jobs were created, roughly equal to the gains seen in November, LinkUp’s forecasting model points to job gains of 305,000. With an average increase of 0.8% in new and total total job listings in November, job gains will increase slightly in January to 310,000. Stronger gains in both new and total job listings indexed by LinkUp indicate that job growth in February will rise sharply to over 400,000 jobs created. Of course, LinkUp’s February’s forecast is subject to revisions based on what we see in the index in January.
LinkUp’s job search engine currently indexes over 1.2 million jobs from nearly 25,000 corporate websites throughout the country. Highly unique to the industry, LinkUp’s search engine does not include any listings from job boards. As a result, our search engine and the resulting data set contain none of the job board pollution that plagues sites like Indeed and Simplyhired and muddies other employment data sources such as the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Index. Job board pollution includes such things as job scams, identity theft posts, work-at-home garbage, lead-gen bait, money-mule fraud, and duplicate listings from recruiters, search firms, headhunters, and other 3rd party intermediaries. And because LinkUp updates its search results daily, there are no old or outdated job listings.
In terms of the state by state jobs data for December, new job listings on company websites fell 4% during the month to 544,759. Total job listings on corporate websites stayed relatively flat from the prior month at 1,283,835 job openings. (These numbers are slightly different that the numbers in the forecast above because they are based on a single paired-month data point, while the forecast above relies on 4 separate data points for each month’s forecasted job growth). In December, 34 states saw declines in new job openings while 23 states saw increases in total job openings posted to corporate websites.
In terms of jobs by category, new job listings fell by 7% and total job listings by category fell by 2%.
Within both new and total job listings by category, roughly 20 of the 31 categories tracked by LinkUp reported declines. Supply Chain & Logistics, Sales, and Manufacturing were the 3 categories hit the hardest, with declines of over 5,000 new job listings in each. That certainly should raise at least slight concern about what we might see in the economy later this year, but given the turmoil and dysfunction in Washington these days, it’s tough to get any sense of what things might look like 2 months from now. Who would have guessed in October that the House of Representatives would leave unattended its handling of storm relief legislation following hurricane Sandy?
So for now, all we can do is be happy about today’s market gains and even more delighted about what we should see in Friday morning’s jobs report.
Happy New Year.