Non-Farm Payrolls Contracted in December

The year’s first Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was just released and it’s a weak one. Non-Farm Payrolls fell by 140k last month while November’s gain of 245k was revised to 336k. Pre-release estimates pointed to a gain of 50k. December’s payroll decline was the first since April. Other highlights from today’s report show that the Unemployment Rate remain unchanged at 6.7% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was also flat at 61.5%. The Leisure and Hospitality sector lost 498k jobs. Average Hourly Earnings grew by a larger-than-expected 0.8% for the month with the year-over-year pace soaring to 5.1% from 4.4%. Think transfer payments. Average Weekly Hours slipped slightly to 34.7 from 34.8.

Treasury prices were already slightly lower before the report’s release and haven’t reacted much since. The Ten-Year is yielding 1.09% with the Long Bond at 1.86%. The Two-Year hasn’t changed much at 14 basis points. Crude oil is up about one dollar to $51.78 while gold’s $30 slide takes that price down to $1,884. Equity indices remain well into the green as perceived future stimulus glosses over today’s disappointing report.