Tomorrow, the BLS jobs report comes out. There are huge differences in the payroll estimates ranging from a low of 55,000 to a high of 217,000 by Econoday.

  • TrimTabs: 55,000 to 85,000
  • ADP: 214,000
  • Econoday Range: 168,000 to 217,000
  • Econoday Consensus: 190,000

ADP 214,000

Citing ADP, Reuters reports U.S. Private Sector Adds 214,000 Jobs in February.

U.S. private employers added 214,000 jobs in February, above economists’ expectations, suggesting solid job growth despite market turmoil and worries about a slowing global economy, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 190,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 160,000 to 225,000.

Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 185,000 jobs in February, up from 158,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to be 190,000.

TrimTabs 55,000 to 85,000

At the other extreme, via email from David Santschi, Chief Executive Officer of TrimTabs, estimates the U.S. economy added 55,000-85,000 jobs in February.

The U.S. labor market is weaker than the conventional wisdom believes. We estimate based on real-time income tax withholdings that the U.S. economy added between 55,000 to 85,000 jobs in February, down from 175,000 to 205,000 jobs in January. Last month’s growth was the lowest since July 2013.

We cite a range rather than a single figure for our February estimate because the timing of bonus payments impacts withholdings at this time of year and makes our year-over-year analysis more challenging than usual. Part of the sharp deceleration in wage and salary growth in February was likely due to shifts in bonus payments, but the deceleration was too sharp to be explained by bonus-related factors alone.

Our estimate is not an attempt to predict the initial estimate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will report on Friday. The BLS data is subject to so many seasonal adjustments and so much statistical manipulation that we have no way to know what the BLS will report.

Econoday Consensus 190,000

Econoday reports:

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to rise 190,000 in February following a lower-than-expected but still respectable 151,000 increase in January. January’s employment report, despite the slowing in payrolls, did show strength as the unemployment rate came down and average hourly earnings jumped an outsized 0.5 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.9 percent in February while average hourly earnings are expected to slow to a more sustainable plus 0.2 percent. With jobless claims moving back down, the labor market looks solid and appears to be moving to full employment, and a February report that would no more than meet consensus could very well give the FOMC, outside of secondary considerations, enough justification to hike rates at this month’s FOMC.

There goes Bloomberg again, hyping up the possibility of a hike this month. A hike is not in the cards.

At the risk of looking foolish, I may as well toss a jobs estimate into the mix. The number that came out of my hat is 115,000.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock