Job Report Caveats

Justin Fox doles them out:

These numbers are subject to revision. Last month's payroll job loss number of -190,000 has been revised down to 111,000. September's nasty -263,000, which had me wondering if the job market had started getting worse again, has been revised down to -139,000. So this month's good news could be revised upward into really good news or downward into disappointment. The trend is looking pretty good but, as Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics writes, "There is no doubt the underlying trend in payrolls is improving, but this looks a bit too fast."

Noam Scheiber also urges caution:

There is one ominous note from today's report, though: Long-term unemployment. Last month I noted that the number of long-term unemployed--people out of work 27 weeks or longer--was increasing at a decreasing rate and looked like it might be about to peak. That was key because, as I explained in this post, a peak in long-term unemployment fairly soon after a recession has historically foreshadowed a "jobful" rather than a "jobless" recovery.

Unfortunately, the number of people unemployed for 27-plus weeks shot up again pretty sharply last month: up 293,000 versus only 156,000 in October. That could obviously be a one-off blip. But if not, and if it means what it's historically meant, it could be a while before we start seeing real job growth.