"The private sector created 91,000 jobs from July to August, a shade below expectations, according to a report from ADP that sets the stage for a likely weak report on nonfarm jobs the government will release Friday.
ADP and Macroeconomic Advisors said service-sector jobs rose 80,000, down from an average increase of 115,000 over the past two months, while the goods-producing sector saw a gain of just 11,000.
Consensus estimates are that the government will show the economy created about 80,000 jobs overall in August—including the public sector—though some economists say the report actually could show a loss of jobs."
So this would seem to be a-mildly-disappointing report as private sector jobs were a shade beneath expectations, service-sector rose beneath the average for June and July, and the goods-producing sector provided only modest growth. Yet, according to Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors, said the economy probably isn't in recession.
"Our best recession probability models say that the likelihood that we're actually in a recession right now is actually very, very small," Prakken told CNBC.
Again a mixed bag as they should be 23% down from July but still 47% higher than August 2009.
For it's part, the market is unconcerned with strong gains in all 3 indexes after having already jumped 3 straight days and last week putting in it's best week in the last 8; in addition all S&P sectors are up today. Overall, the market is now positive for 2011.
It's for this reason that Harry Truman famously complained about economists having so many arms, like an octopus, as there is always, "...but on the other hand..."
Yet the picture remains ambiguous.
What we can say categorically is this is a good time for Obama to unveil his jobs proposals and very important even in the face of the usual Republican obstructionism. It would contribute to business confidence and certainly let the public know who has its back and who's playing politics. And there are some measures Obama has indicated he will undertake through executive order, like some much needed mortgage relief for homeowners including possibly refinancing mortgages for millions of Americans.
As I write this, look what has come to the front page of CNBC.com, "Transportation Drives Rebound in Factory Orders".
"New orders for U.S. factory goods rose more than expected in July as demand for transportation equipment surged, a government report showed on Wednesday, pointing to some resilience in manufacturing at the start of the third quarter."
Sorry Harry, but on the other hand...