With each month that unemployment in the U.S. remains stubbornly high, focus on the government’s ‘official’ monthly jobs report grows increasingly intense. Unfortunately, while the anticipation surrounding tomorrow’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reached new levels, so too has the uncertainty around what the report will say about job growth across the country. Bloomberg is reporting a consensus forecast of 67,000 jobs created in August, but the range of estimates is extraordinarily high, with a low of -5,000 to a high of +150,000. (I can’t help but wonder if that 150,000 is LinkUp’s forecast from August 3rd.) Seeking Alpha reports a slightly higher consensus estimate of 110,000 jobs, but in any case the clear consensus is that job growth remains anemic and will be less than July’s jobs report.
ADP’s numbers would also indicate that job growth in August will come in below expectations, as they reported yesterday that the private sector added only 91,000 jobs during the month. Economists had expected the ADP number to come in around 100,000. And finally, the Conference Board reported that online job demand fell by 163,900 in August, following declines of 217,000 in July and 100,000 in June. It should be noted, however, that the Conference Board is counting job ads on daily newspaper websites and online, pay-to-post job boards such as Monster, both of which are in advanced stages of obsolescence, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in their numbers.
So if everyone is expecting a disappointing number tomorrow, one might ask where the uncertainty I mentioned above is coming from. Right or wrong, the uncertainty is coming from the disconnect between a pessimistic consensus estimate and a very optimistic 60-day jobs forecast from LinkUp, a job search engine that ONLY indexes jobs from corporate websites (Updated daily, LinkUp’s index contains 877,000 job openings from 22,125 corporate websites as of this morning). LinkUp issued its August jobs report earlier today, and based on the growth in new and total jobs in August, combined with what we reported in June and July, we have revised our August forecast that we issued on August 3rd from a positive 150,000 jobs created in August to a gain of 205,000. As well, based on LinkUp’s data, we expect that 275,000 jobs will be added to the U.S. economy in September, and 435,000 jobs in October.
In August, the companies in LinkUp’s job search engine added 419,000 new jobs to their company websites, an increase of 12% from July. Total jobs on LinkUp increased by 7% in August to 979,000. 45 states showed an increase in new job listings on company websites, while 48 showed an increase in total job openings on company websites.
The growth in LinkUp’s new and total job listings is the largest since January of this year, and the 3rd largest since November of 2009. (The percentage gains for August are slightly different than the state table above because we use an average of the two data sets for July in our ‘paired-month’ methodology that accounts for the addition of new companies into the index).
LinkUp is the fastest growing job search engine on the web and indexes only job openings that are published on company websites. The New York Times’ About.com named LinkUp the best job search engine on the web because of our highly unique value proposition for both job seekers and employers. LinkUp does not list any jobs from other job boards, nor do we allow anyone to post jobs directly to the site. Rather, LinkUp’s job search engine currently lists about 877,000 job openings indexed and updated daily from approximately 22,000 company websites throughout the U.S. As a result of this completely unique approach to job listings online, LinkUp’s search engine does not include any old jobs, scam jobs, phishing jobs, or duplicate listings. Nor do we include job listings from staffing companies, headhunters, search firms, or other 3rd party recruiters. It is for these reasons that our jobs data is so highly correlated to future hiring trends.
With the solid gains in total jobs in June, July, and August, we are forecasting that not only will job growth be strong for the next 60 days, but that it will finally start accelerating. (Our forecasts assume a 60-day ‘lag’ between our data for a given month and the impact on the jobs numbers from the BLS).
Predicting the actual unemployment rate in the near future is far more difficult given the massive uncertainty around the labor-force participation rate and ‘Discouraged’ workers, combined with the churn in the labor market that will undoubtedly result when things start to loosen up, but there is absolutely no doubt that the labor market is improving.
It’s about time.