Slow Recovery Continues: Private Employment

ADP and Bloomberg consensus says don’t expect surge, don’t expect decline…

Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment from BLS (black), Bloomberg consensus (blue circle), ADP (red). Source: BLS, ADP via FRED, Bloomberg and author’s calculations.

The pattern sort of matches the mobility and engagement index the Dallas Fed produces (thru 9/26).

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, accessed 9/30.

20 thoughts on “Slow Recovery Continues: Private Employment

  1. Barkley Rosser


    These graphs look pretty reasonable, pretty much in line with what has been discussed here, staying away from letters and symbols, an initially rapid bounceback that then slowed down considerably. Fine.

    Now I guess this might change over the next few days, but this morning on CBS radio I heard that there had been a minor upward revision of the second quarter GDP outcome to -31% SAAR. But then the report claimed that “experts” were expecting this to be nearly fully offset by a strong third quarter performance. I do not know who these “experts” are, but that does not fit with what you are showing here or what we have been seeing for some time, so I shall be curious to see what appears in coming days. If, as seems likely, this CBS report was just plain wrong, I doubt we shall hear a correction or admission they were wrong.

  2. Bruce Hall

    I wonder how that look ex restaurants/hospitality. Those are the most severely impacted by state governors’ EOs.

    1. 2slugbaits

      If you’re talking about your state Michigan, the answer is that restaurant and hotel spending is only down 4.7% (as of 20 September) from where it was back in January. So if your governor has an executive order against restaurants and hotels, it doesn’t seem to be having much impact.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall My link was to Michigan consumer spending on restaurants and hotels. My point was that if there is a lag in employment in that sector, then it’s not due to people not going to restaurants because of executive orders. Evidently people are going to restaurants and hotels.

          This morning’s numbers show that at the national level the leisure and hospitality sector accounts for almost half of the September job growth. Good news for that sector, but that implies job growth for nation “less leisure and hospitality” has not been so great.

          What’s most disturbing is that growth in the labor force has essentially stalled. People aren’t just unemployed; they’re dropping out of the labor force. That needs to get reversed or potential GDP will fall. I don’t think that gets reversed until we’ve achieved significant immunity levels well above the “herd immunity threshold” of ~60%. Schools and employers are going to have to mandate COVID vaccinations if we’re to have any chance of getting to a herd immunity level that feels like herd immunity.

  3. pgl

    Why does this sound so familiar?

    Fauci says his mask stance was ‘taken out of context’ by Trump

    ‘In an interview that will air Thursday on ABC News’s “Start Here” podcast, Fauci said public health officials did not recommend people wear masks early in the pandemic because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health professionals. “So the feeling was that people who were wanting to have masks in the community, namely just people out in the street, might be hoarding masks and making the shortage of masks even greater. In that context, we said that we did not recommend masks,” Fauci said. During a segment of Tuesday’s presidential debate focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump suggested that his health officials have changed their minds, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not always recommended the use of face coverings. “Dr. [Anthony] Fauci said the opposite, he very strongly said masks aren’t good and then he changed his mind, he said masks are good,” Trump said.’

    Look we know Trump is a disgusting liar so none of this is new. But the Usual Suspects here play the same game. Of course this is all in the defense of our Incompetent in Chief so all good. MAGA!

  4. spencer

    CNBC on jobless claims:

    Jobless claims edge lower to 837,000 as slow recovery continues

    Note that they are calling it a slow recovery.


  5. pgl

    Cornell study: President Trump is biggest source of coronavirus misinformation

    President Donald Trump is the biggest individual source of coronavirus misinformation in the world, according to a new study at Cornell University. The New York Times reports Cornell researchers analyzed 38 million articles about the Covid-19 article in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Trump accounted for 37.9% of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making him the largest driver of the “infodemic,” they concluded.

    Actually this study has to be flawed. After all I suspect they did not survey the comments here from our Usual Suspects.

  6. Steven Kopits

    It is not clear to me that we are recovering anymore. Total product supplied (of refined products in total); gasoline supplied; and distillate supplied — each a weekly proxy for respective US consumption levels — have stalled out at 16%, 9% and 9% below normal now for the last twelve weeks or so. There is no trend higher in the data at present. If you look at CR today, you can see something similar in hotel occupancy.

    I think the economy is leveling out about 10% below normal ex-stimulus.

    1. pgl

      Wait – if people are ordering online then consumption can go up even if we drive less. So your little claim that retail sales of gasoline is a reliable proxy for the entire economy ranks up there as one of your many incredibly stupid claims.

      1. macroduck

        There is good reason to think we have been through a structural change which would reduce gasoline consumption relative to total consumption. It would be great if the change proves permanent.

        1. baffling

          gasoline will continue to deteriorate as a proxy, as electric vehicles continue to gain market share. the age of oil in automobiles is coming to an end. i warned steven about this a couple of years ago, but his loyalty to the oil industry has blinded him. but the future is electric. from a performance perspective, it is not even a race. gas engines cannot compete with electric motors. i see a new tesla appear in my neighborhood almost weekly. my neighbors have had solar panels on the roof for years. now they use it to power their new tesla. the electric ecosystem has no use for gas and oil.

    2. pgl

      “Total product supplied (of refined products in total); gasoline supplied; and distillate supplied — each a weekly proxy for respective US consumption levels — have stalled out at 16%, 9% and 9% below normal now for the last twelve weeks or so.”

      You know Steve – it is highly arrogant to make such claims without providing your source. My best guess is such information can be found here:

      But if would be nice if you took the damn time to provide a link to your sources.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I send out three public reports per week:

        – a review of the EIA’s weekly Petroleum Supply Report, usually on Wednesdays
        – a rig count and frac spread report, usually on Fridays
        – a pandemic update, usually on the weekend

        The oil reports have about 180 readers each; the pandemic update, about 250.

        – You can sign up for these here:

  7. pgl

    Trump kept up his racist tirades last night in Minnesota. You might wonder why he would do this but this racist clown thinks most Americans are racists:
    President Donald Trump expressed utter bewilderment during a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on Wednesday night over the fact that his blatantly racist attempts to win over suburban women aren’t working.
    First Trump told his supporters at the rally that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp” and warned of refugees “coming from the most dangerous pieces.”
    Then the President complained that his fear-mongering isn’t being rewarded, as reflected in the polls showing Biden outpacing him among suburban voters.
    “They talk about the suburbs, women in the suburbs. I ended a regulation that nobody would have done,” Trump said, referring to his repeal of the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule that required cities receiving federal housing funds to probe potential housing discrimination against protected groups.
    Trump repeated his claim on Wednesday that the policy “brings public housing, low-income housing, into the suburbs.”
    The President also falsely told his supporters that Biden’s housing plan would “zone you out” and “build low-income housing next to your house,” despite the fact that zoning is decided by the local, not federal, government.
    “And then I hear I’m not doing well in the suburbs,” Trump said. “I’m not doing well in the suburbs. Are you people crazy? Are you crazy?”
    Trump has been leaning heavily into instilling panic among “Suburban Housewives of America” and “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream” by portraying Biden as a threat to, and himself as a savior of, their tranquil (and supposedly poor people-free) neighborhoods.
    “The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me,” the President tweeted after repealing AFFH. “They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood.”

    PeakTrader wasn’t even this bad. Oh my – a Muslim lives across the street. There are Mexicans around the block. Trump and his MAGA wearing hat fans are sick.

    1. macroduck

      The ADP series is an attempt to replicate the BLS series. ADP pretty routine adjusts its own series to better match the BLS series, which may explain the tight fit in the history of the two series. No time yet to adjust the latest data points. I’d guess you’d find lots of similar bad fits across the years in unrevised data.

  8. AS

    I notice that the attempted FRED graph with both data series USPRIV and NPPTTL did not link, just the USPRIV shows.

  9. 2slugbaits

    The labor force is about 2.3% smaller than it was six months ago. While employment has been growing, much of that growth has come from people who were categorized as unemployed but still in the labor force. If we’re to have any chance of lifting potential GDP, then we’ll have to find a way to bring people out of the kitchen baking sourdough bread and into the labor force.

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