Will we get good jobs news Friday?

New unemployment claims are down, which could mean an improved December jobs picture.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 5, 2012 3:49PM
Image: Office workers (© ColorBlind Images/Blend Images/Corbis)

Thursday's report on weekly initial unemployment claims offered a promising setup for Friday's release of the December jobs number.

For the week that ended Dec. 31, the number of people filing new claims for unemployment dropped to 372,000. That was a significant decline from the 387,000 initial claims filed in the week ended Dec. 24. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected the initial claim number to drop to 375,000.

Even the continuing claims for unemployment number dropped to a still-horrendous 3.595 million for the week from 3.617 million the week before.

Thursday’s improved initial claims numbers argue that there’s a good chance that the non-farms payroll number to be released tomorrow will show something better than the 150,000 increase expected by economists, according to Briefing.com.

In November, payrolls grew by a net 120,000 jobs. That was up from a revised 100,000 gain in October. A 150,000 gain in jobs for December would create a three-month upward trend.

That in itself would be greeted with cheers by a stock market that sees growth in the U.S. economy as the only growth story in town at the moment. I don’t know that we’d get a huge 2% rally like we saw on Tuesday, but I would certainly expect an up day after the consolidation of Tuesday’s move on Wednesday and today.

Anything significantly above 150,000 and, yes, we could see another 2% advance. As long, of course, as the news from Europe isn’t so bad as to completely overshadow the U.S. picture.

The payrolls numbers get reported at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday -- before the New York financial markets open.

At the time of this writing, Jim Jubak didn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this post in personal portfolios. The mutual fund he manages, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not own positions in any stock mentioned. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter, see the fund's portfolio here. 
Jan 5, 2012 5:52PM


But the jobs numbers will shortly be impacted by the termination of season-only help hired in the retail sector.  Happens every year.



Jan 5, 2012 5:57PM
It’s a ‘recession’ when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a ‘depression’ when you lose yours; it’s a ‘recovery’ when Barack Obama loses his and it is a perfect world when the medias stop lying to us.
Jan 5, 2012 7:46PM
Anyone want to bet the jobs were low paying?
Jan 5, 2012 8:08PM

nc 1540



let's do a little economic math no job no money.

minimum wage jobs not a lot of money but it is something and

 I sure would like to know the value of any job to no job.

I hope you never have to experience a loss of a job.

but for some people  they loose some of their self respect and no one can put a price on that.

OH on the bet    I pick you for a loser

and we both know i won that bet

Jan 5, 2012 7:59PM
Oh I have about enough, people saying those numbers will rise after the temps all go home... come on people how many times do you have to be told to understand, the numbers are SEASONALLY ADJUSTED, before you realize the numbers are in fact actual numbers. The economy is on an uptick and republicans simply can't handle the fact the economy will more than recover and surge under the current president. They would rather see American crash and burn than have a democrat in the WH. I find it also funny how republicans scream about liberals... you do know the Liberal do not necessarily equal democrat and conservative does not necessarily equal republican right? Lincoln himself was a Liberal Republican, as were many others...so stop the hate rants, and get behind our country...hope for success, and stop wishing all the new you read equaled exactly the opposite when good news is seen. 
Jan 5, 2012 6:27PM
Q. What does Barack Obama call illegal aliens?
A. Undocumented Democrats.
Q. How does President Obama intend to fix America's path to citizenship for illegal aliens? A. He's going to add high speed lanes.
The left worships Obama. Everybody else laughs at him.
Jan 5, 2012 6:06PM

I love these pundits and they do try hard.  All the same!

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