When the expected BLS increase to total nonfarm was 180,000.
What's up with that?!
Long story short: Forget ADP, and employment gains have slowed by 15% in the last year.
ADP is designed to try to predict what the BLS is going to say, and is known to fail at this. It is questioned why ADP even bothers. I agree.
A government measure from the Household Survey, the sum of usually full-time and usually part-time, not seasonally adjusted, is up only 1.89 million (157,500 per month) year over year in March 2017.
Total nonfarm, on the other hand, from the Establishment Survey, is up 2.135 million, not seasonally adjusted (178,000 per month) year over year.
That last number, 178,000 per month, is what the BLS also says is the current 3-month average in March 2017.
Compare that to March 2016 when the 3-month average was 209,000.
There's the truth.
The soft number of 98,000 in the headline today contributed to the climb-down in the 3-month average this month. It will be revised next month, probably up because it's so low. But it's the revisions down for the previous two months totaling 38,000 which are the clue to look farther back.
The absolute number is not important because we can't be certain about it. It is only an estimate anyway, not an actual count. But we can be certain that the long-term behavior of the estimates shows an employment slow down of about 15% year over year.
It was well underway before Trump even got elected.
You can see that in full-time employment gains. Measured in March year over year, full-time gains peaked in March 2015 at almost 3 million additions. Gains have steadily fallen since, to 2.5 million in March 2016 and just 2 million now in March 2017.
And the bottom line there is we've added about only 4.7 million full-time jobs since March 2008 on net.
After NINE years.
The country remains mired in shrunken conditions from which it has not escaped.
In a real recovery, the 10 million full-time jobs lost in 2009 and 2010 would have been fully replaced by 2013 at the latest. It took until 2015, and the momentum immediately started to recede.