Bloomberg News

Payrolls in U.S. Probably Picked Up From Weakest in Six Months

June 01, 2012

Payrolls in U.S. Probably Picked Up From Weakest in Six Months

An employee stacks pieces of wood at the Taylor Guitars production facility in El Cajon, California. Photographer: Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg

Hiring in the U.S. probably picked up in May following the smallest gain in six months, a sign of renewed progress in the labor market, economists said before a government report today.

Payrolls climbed by 150,000 workers following a 115,000 April increase, according to the median forecast of 86 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.1 percent, the figures may show.

Bigger job and wage gains may be needed to spur a self- sustaining increase in hiring and consumer spending that will accelerate the expansion. Nonetheless, a looming recession in the euro area and slowing growth in emerging markets like China and Brazil may prompt American companies to curb headcounts until they see more evidence the U.S. recovery isn’t faltering.

“It’s been a tepid recovery, particularly on the jobs side,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “The sources of impediments to growth really aren’t on the demand side. The biggest problem that we have right now is uncertainty. Europe is coming back to the fore, again.”

The Labor Department’s report is due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from payroll increases of 75,000 to 195,000.

The jobs data come five months before Americans head to the polls to either re-elect President Barack Obama or choose presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who has said White House policies have prevented a stronger economic recovery.

Company Payrolls

Today’s Labor Department report may show private payrolls, which exclude government jobs, climbed 164,000 after rising 130,000 in April, economists forecast.

The projected gain in total payrolls would bring the monthly average this year to 190,600, compared with 176,200 in the first five months of 2011.

Sustained gains of 150,000 would be indicative of “an economy muddling along,” Stanley said. “The level of employment is still far, far below where it was” before the recession, he said.

With the projected gain in May, 3.9 million jobs would have been recouped of the 8.8 million lost as a result of the 18- month recession than ended in June 2009.

Stocks dropped last month as concern grew about Greece’s future in the euro. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) declined 6.3 percent in May.

Estimates for the jobless rate, derived from a separate survey of households, ranged from 8 percent to 8.2 percent. Unemployment has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest such stretch since monthly records began in 1948.

Spending Climbs

Even with the recent slowdown in the pace of job growth, Americans are spending. Commerce Department data today at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will provide details of how consumption fared at the beginning of the quarter. Purchases may have grown 0.3 percent in April, matching the previous month’s gain, according to the Bloomberg survey median. Incomes also rose 0.3 percent following a 0.4 percent increase, the survey showed.

Sustained purchases are prompting companies like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US), the world’s largest Internet retailer, to bring on new workers. The Seattle-based firm announced last month it plans to hire an additional 1,000 employees, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Automobile sales are also making a bigger contribution to overall household spending. Demand for cars and light trucks so far this year is running at the fastest pace since 2008, according to industry data. Those gains are having a ripple effect through manufacturing and may help limit the effect of slowdowns in Europe and Asia.

Manufacturing Expands

The Institute for Supply Management Inc.’s factory index fell to 53.8 last month from a 10-month high of 54.8 in April, according to the Bloomberg survey median ahead of today’s report, due at 10 a.m. New York time. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.9 percent annual rate from January through March, down from a 2.2 percent prior estimate, reflecting smaller gains in inventories and bigger government cutbacks, according to revised Commerce Department figures released yesterday. The report also showed corporate profits rose at the slowest pace in more than three years and smaller wage gains at the end of 2011.

The pace of growth has been “disappointing” and “the headwinds retarding recovery are well known,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said this week. He reiterated that he expects growth of about 2.4 percent over the next four quarters, and said Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is a downside risk to the outlook.

                      Bloomberg Survey

================================================================
                           Nonfarm  Private Unemploy      ISM
                          Payrolls Payrolls     Rate     Manu
                            ,000’s   ,000’s        %    Index
================================================================
Date of Release              06/01    06/01    06/01    06/01
Observation Period             May      May      May      May
----------------------------------------------------------------
Median                         150      164     8.1%     53.8
Average                        149      160     8.1%     53.6
High Forecast                  195      190     8.2%     55.0
Low Forecast                    75       80     8.0%     51.0
Number of Participants          86       44       80       82
Previous                       115      130     8.1%     54.8
----------------------------------------------------------------
4CAST                          170      175     8.2%     52.8
ABN Amro                       160      175     8.1%     54.0
Action Economics               170      175     8.1%     54.0
Ameriprise Financial           132      140     8.1%     53.5
Banca Aletti                   170      175     8.2%     54.3
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi       160      170     8.0%     ---
Bantleon Bank AG               165     ---      8.1%     55.0
Barclays                       150      160     8.0%     53.5
BBVA                           150      160     8.1%     55.0
BMO Capital Markets            170     ---      8.1%     54.0
BNP Paribas                    125     ---      8.1%     54.0
BofA Merrill Lynch             140      150     8.2%     53.5
Briefing.com                   175      185     8.0%     53.0
Capital Economics              175     ---      8.1%     54.0
CIBC World Markets             140     ---      8.1%     53.8
Citi                           135     ---      8.1%     53.0
ClearView Economics            150      160     8.2%     54.0
Comerica                       150     ---      8.0%     54.0
Credit Agricole CIB            140     ---      8.1%     54.2
Credit Suisse                  170      180     8.1%     53.5
Daiwa Securities America       175     ---      ---      54.5
Danske Bank                    170      180     8.1%     53.8
DekaBank                       160     ---      8.2%     53.0
Desjardins Group               160     ---      8.0%     52.8
Deutsche Bank Securities       150      150     8.1%     52.0
Deutsche Postbank AG           130     ---      8.1%     53.5
DZ Bank                        130     ---      8.1%     52.0
Exane                          135     ---      8.2%     53.7
Fact & Opinion Economics       165      175     8.1%     54.0
First Trust Advisors           138      145     8.0%     54.4
FTN Financial                  125      135     8.0%     53.5
Goldman, Sachs & Co.           125     ---      8.1%     53.5
Helaba                         160     ---      8.1%     54.0
High Frequency Economics       130     ---      8.1%     55.0
HSBC Markets                   165      174     8.1%     52.3
Hugh Johnson Advisors           75       80     8.2%     55.0
IDEAglobal                     135      145     8.1%     53.0
IHS Global Insight             165     ---      8.1%     53.0
Informa Global Markets         130     ---      8.1%     54.0
ING Financial Markets          170      170     8.1%     53.7
Insight Economics              160     ---      8.1%     54.0
Intesa Sanpaulo                160     ---      8.1%     53.0
J.P. Morgan Chase              165      175     8.1%     53.5
Janney Montgomery Scott        143      153     8.0%     51.0
Jefferies & Co.                135      140     8.0%     55.0
JH Cohn                        150     ---      ---      ---
Landesbank Berlin              150     ---      8.1%     52.0
Landesbank BW                  160     ---      ---      54.3
LCA Consultores                175     ---      ---      ---
Maria Fiorini Ramirez          140      150     ---      54.2
Market Securities              132     ---      8.1%     53.4
MET Capital Advisors           120     ---      8.0%     52.8
Mizuho Securities              150     ---      8.1%     53.5
Modal Asset                    149     ---      ---      51.7
Moody’s Analytics              165      185     8.0%     54.3
Morgan Stanley & Co.           160     ---      8.1%     53.0
National Bank Financial        140     ---      8.1%     54.0
Natixis                        135     ---      8.1%     53.0
Newedge                        142      160     8.1%     ---
Nomura Securities               95      100     8.1%     52.7
Nord/LB                        135     ---      8.1%     52.5
OSK Group/DMG                  125     ---      8.1%     53.8
O’Sullivan                     180      190     8.0%     53.8
Paragon Research               120     ---      8.1%     ---
Parthenon Group                161      168     8.1%     53.1
Pierpont Securities            180      190     8.1%     54.1
PineBridge Investments         195     ---      8.1%     53.5
PNC Bank                       170     ---      8.2%     54.1
Prestige Economics             135      145     8.0%     53.5
Raiffeisenbank International   165      175     8.2%     53.0
Raymond James                  150      160     8.1%     54.2
RBC Capital Markets            140      150     8.1%     54.0
RBS Securities                 175      185     8.1%     54.0
Scotiabank                     160     ---      8.2%     53.5
SMBC Nikko Securities          150      150     8.1%     54.0
Societe Generale               100      115     8.0%     54.5
Sparkasse Suedholstein        ---      ---      ---      52.5
Standard Chartered             130      150     8.1%     53.0
Stone & McCarthy Research      155      170     8.0%     54.8
TD Securities                  140      150     8.2%     53.5
UBS                            175      185     8.0%     54.0
Union Investment               130     ---      8.1%     54.5
University of Maryland         160      170     8.1%     54.0
Wells Fargo & Co.              150     ---      8.0%     53.5
WestLB AG                      145     ---      8.1%     54.0
Westpac Banking Co.            135     ---      8.2%     53.5
Wrightson ICAP                 160      170     8.1%     54.3
================================================================

To contact the reporter on this story: Timothy R. Homan in Washington at thoman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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