We're on the eve of another Employment Situation Summary, due out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow, first thing. The consensus is for the number to come in at an increase of 165,000 payroll jobs for April. Net, net, a number of weakening economic activity indicators and offsetting jags to the upside add up to queasiness ahead of the print.
Few would not be delighted to ride aboard the little-economic-recovery-that-could choo-chooing through global debt crises, developing-economy checkups, spotty industry demand, choppy inventory sell-through, regulatory uncertainty, and political inertia—largely on the backs of preternaturally resilient consumers—to destination rebound.
Well, maybe those who're banking on another round of Federal Reserve quantitative easing aren't so keen on continued jobs traction and economic progress, albeit anemic.
Still, none can be more anxious about the monthly employment story, on both the jobs-creation side and the unemployment-rate side of the print, than those in housing.
The risk to anyone's assumptions at this point, having charged through 2012's first four months, comes first and foremost in the form of a setback to what's been a steadily positive jobs narrative.
The fact of the matter, however, is that seasonality, weather, events, even the headline data points themselves, have turned the monthly employment print into a First Friday of the month drama that dominoes into directly related and derivative sectors.
The point of all of this being that as companies rely on the sanguine jobs narrative to work as a catalyst for household formation, as it should, we believe that assumptions for continued momentum hinge on the next couple of Employment Situation Summaries, including tomorrow's.
The most skeptical among us have already sounded the warning on a third-consecutive-year stall, after strong starts to 2010 and 2011.
This year was to be the year that demographics-divided-by-consumer-confidence would result in a new burst of pent-up demand into the market. For that to occur, tomorrow's report must at least offer hope that this little recovery can slip a bit but then steam ahead.