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Seeing a lot of discussion about seasonal adjustment issues being a big factor behind the April nonfarms miss. Almost all of the NFP previews we saw pointed this out beforehand, as a caveat in case there was a big 'miss' in either direction.

  • Non-adjusted, the US added 1.089mn jobs in April. That's very typical for a 'normal' April (the average for 2016-2019 in April was +1.04mn), and also in line with the 1.1-1.2mn jobs created in each of Feb and Mar. If the BLS is using the typical April +1mn as a benchmark (the avg 2016-2019 seasonally adjusted payroll rises in April were around +200k vs +1.04mn after adjustment), hard to say how much of the 2021 figure was accounted for with the BLS making its adjustments.
  • Would point out that some of the sectors you'd expect would be roaring back DID roar back in NSA terms - Leisure and Hospitality added 575k jobs NSA in April which looks like the biggest non-pandemic total ever (apart from the May-Jun rehiring in 2020). Not sure whether a downward seasonal adjustment is warranted for those areas.
  • You can't discount the seasonal adjustment as a big factor here, in other words. Most 'circumstantial' evidence from the labor market suggests that the April figure is something of an aberration.


Nonfarm Payrolls, chg '000sBLS, MNI