"All is not doom and gloom on the economy. There is some optimism. In fact, there's a mystery to Friday's jobs report, since it just doesn't tally with all the other good economic news. Retail sales are up four straight months, and chain-store sales for the early holidays surprised on the upside. Manufacturing reports have been solid. Even for November, the Institute for Supply Management's surveys for manufacturing and services were solid. The ISMs are basically real-time economic indicators. And oddly enough, the employment component of each looks fairly strong."
The nearby chart shows the employment indexes from the ISM-Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing reports for November that were released this week
. The Employment Index for the service sector of the economy increased in November for the fourth month in a row, and for the 9th time in the last 12 months, and is now at a pre-recession level of 52.7, the highest since October 2010. The index for employment in the manufacturing sector has been above pre-recession levels for the last year now. The positive trends in these employment indexes suggest that the labor market might be stronger than the BLS report, and the "underlying trend in job growth should accelerate in the months ahead," as Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein reported yesterday