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November 2, 2012

Better but Still Mediocre BLS. Deceptively High Factors Orders.

November 2, 2012

Better but Still Mediocre BLS. Deceptively High Factors Orders.

BLS Employment Situation Report  (October 2012)

– Nonfarm jobs were +171,000 and the previous month was revised upwards by 36,000
– Unemployment Rate was 7.9% up from 7.8%
– Average wage was dead flat
– Average workweek was 34.4 hours the same as the  previous month (revised.)

This is a mediocre report which will pass for slightly positive  because the bar for what is positive has been lowered.

My monthly look inside this report will be posted later today or tomorrow.

Factory Orders (September 2012)

– Factor Orders were +3.8% as opposed to a previous -5.2%.  Almost all of the gain was for aircraft especially military.  This, much like GDP, was pumped up as the Defense Department spent like a sailor in anticipation of possible budget cuts.

The important part is that business investment was weak.  This is an excellent example of why one needs to look inside any given report.  The report is much weaker than the headline.