Rarely, if ever, am I at a complete loss when trying to generate some commentary around our labor market forecast. I’m not sure if the problem is being too distracted by the start of a new year, too busy with our core business, too pessimistic about the increasingly worrisome state of the economy, or too horrified by the current state of the world, but it’s been a struggle this week to muster the time or energy to publish our forecast.
My current media consumption, ranging from dark and moody (The Affair, season 2) and stressful and chaotic (Homeland, season 5) to terrifying (True Detective, season 1) and gut-wrenching (Between The World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates) hasn’t helped my malaise.
Nor has the absolute absurdity that is the field of Republican presidential candidates, the NRA, militia in Oregon, flooding in Illinois, global warming everywhere, or just about anything else going on in the news these days.
Jason Hirschhorn, the brilliant, mastermind curator behind REDEF, said it perfectly in this morning’s rantnrave:// – “It’s the new year and it looks like the world is falling apart again. Is it me? SAUDI ARABIA and IRAN. NORTH KOREA. SYRIA. ISIS. Terrorist attacks. Militias. Gun debates. The most important Presidential election in my lifetime and a cast of clowns. What does armageddon look like?”
Thank God for SNL.
It’s also very possible that my paralysis is the direct result of recently seeing The Big Short and having to stare into the abyss once again and face the terror, dread, nausea, abhorrence, and revulsion of all that was The Great Recession.
Or perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for our non-farm payroll is simply the result of the fact that we are predicting a rather uneventful, ho-hum jobs number of just 205,000 for December.
And in one of those great moments of serendipity (a very good movie, by the way), as I stare at a blank WordPress screen, my Tycho station on Pandora plays this song:
And what better theme could there be for December’s jobs forecast? Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. (Most assuredly not the strongest theme I’ve ever woven into a jobs forecast, but it’s the best I’ve got this week).
So here’s our forecast:
Based on flat numbers in November, we are forecasting a net gain of just 205,000 jobs in December, essentially the same as last month.
In December, however, job openings in our search engine rose again rather sharply, so perhaps we’ll start 2016 off with a huge month of job growth in January.
Jobs by category showed similar gains.
So on Friday, que sera sera.
And by the way, see and/or read The Big Short. Seriously.