Jobless Claims End 2011 at 3.5 Year Low; And ADP Reports 325K Private Job Gain in December
In a separate report today, paycheck processer ADP reported that U.S. nonfarm private employment increased by 325,000 in December, another sign that the labor market was gaining momentum as the year ended. This was the largest monthly employment gain in a year, and almost twice the median consensus expectation of a 178,000 gain.
According to Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, who is quoted in ADP's press release, "Today’s report, which is notably above the consensus forecasts both for today’s number and for Friday’s jobs estimate from the BLS,points towards a strengthening labor market. Today’s report also suggests that November’s somewhat surprising decline in the unemployment rate might stick and, indeed, that the unemployment rate could fall further in December. Other indicators also signal some firming of labor market conditions, including the downward trend in unemployment claims, upturns in consumer sentiment and confidence influenced by perceptions about the availability of jobs, along with a rising trend in employees voluntarily quitting their positions."
Update: See Scott Grannis's post and graphs highlighting the good news on the labor front today.