At CNN’s request, California Lutheran University released its February jobs forecast today. The actual data will come out Friday.
The weakness in jobs persists: the federal government’s net hiring is expected to be close to zero and state/local government’s net hiring is expected to be negative due to a lack of revenues, non-decreasing expenditures, and (in the case of state and local governments) balanced budget mandates. These yield public sector job losses of 25,000.
On the private-sector side, we espect services-sector job gains of 50 thousand and goods-sector job gains of 14 thousand yield a total of 64 thousand jobs gained. This is consistent with our assessment of a weakly-growing economy, one that does not have enough vitality to cause large quantities of new jobs as well as the ongoing productivity growth that has generated stronger GDP growth than job growth.
We expect the labor force participation rate to continue falling, but at a slower rate, reaching 64.1 percent in February. This would yield a small increase (about 31 thousand ) to the labor force. Presuming a relatively unchanged positive gap (about 125 thousand) of household survey employment gains over establishment survey employment gains, gives a employment to population ratio of 58.4 percent, which is unchanged from January.
These employment and labor force changes imply a February unemployment rate of 9 percent, the same as January.
A table with the numbers is provided below.