(RPT)MNI BRIEF: St. Louis Fed Model Sees Solid Dec Jobs Gain
Wage inflation also continued to moderate, based on private high-frequency data, bank economist Max Dvorkin tells MNI.
(Repeats story first published on Jan 5)
U.S. employment likely rose by several hundred thousand in December while wage gains continued to moderate, according to real-time labor market indexes from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, economist Max Dvorkin told MNI.
That would be on par with Wall Street expectations for a 200,000 gain in payrolls and average hourly earnings rise of 0.4% in Friday's jobs report.
The Fed bank's Coincident Employment Index was little changed last month at -0.02, translating into a drop in employment of 31,000, or an increase of 495,000 when seasonally adjusted. The index uses weekly data from time-tracker software provider Homebase to anticipate the Labor Department's household survey.
Dvorkin cautioned the Veterans Day holiday may distort the data, and an alternative analysis using Homebase figures from the week of Nov. 4 would lead to a stronger negative unadjusted change and a 260,000 adjusted gain in employment. "Seasonality and holidays are always the hardest to correct for. So the forecast for this month would be between" the two estimates, he said via email.
Separately, a wage tracker using Homebase data showed the mean of individual wage changes for workers continuously employed over four weeks in the last few weeks of December now stands closer to values seen in 2019. "Wage inflation continues to moderate," Dvorkin said.