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U.S. employers likely added significantly more jobs in June than in May, according to the St. Louis Fed's analysis of high-frequency workforce scheduling data from Homebase.
The Fed bank's model predicts a "strong upward trend" of 1.5 million new payrolls in the June survey week, up from its forecast of 865,000 in May, economist Max Dvorkin told MNI.
"In the last few months, this index overpredicted employment increases by a large margin, so this figure is likely an upper-bound on the expected employment increase," he cautioned. Small business, particularly in retail and leisure and hospitality, are overrepresented in the Homebase data set. Official BLS figures showed employment rising 559,000 in May.
A related analysis by the bank using a different set of high frequency workforce management data from Kronos has been plagued by strong seasonal forces in recent weeks, Dvorkin said. In particular, the number of clock punches in the education sector drops drastically as schools in many parts of the country begin the summer recess, and he is working on ways to correct for the effect.
The St. Louis Fed's employment models based on real-time data have delivered mixed results over the pandemic, but are closely watched by analysts wanting more immediate readings on the U.S. labor market.