Comments On Friday's US Employment Figures

The 65,000 new jobs represent positive labour force development and pretty much close the lid on the double-dip debate for the time being.

As we have been saying all along, there will not be a double dip in the US in 2010. This is evidenced by the fact that this is now the 9th month in a row that the private sector in the US has produced new jobs.

Nevertheless this small positive number is still far short of representing the job growth one would normally associate with a strong recovery, or even acceptably heavy growth. We still think data like this auger for some additional stimulus measures from the Fed not too far down the road. An unemployment rate of 9.6% will not be considered acceptable.

When looking at the jobs data, we must strip out the change in government payrolls, which declined, with losses evenly split between laid-off census workers and state and local workers.

Of note is the fall of 21,000 jobs in the construction sector, indicative of continuing malaise in the housing sector. Also the increase in temporary hiring, a precursor of permanent hiring; an finally an upward revision of an additional 26,000 jobs created by the private sector last month compared to when the data was initially released a month ago.

John Velis, Head of Capital Markets, Russell Investments

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