Friday, March 04, 2005


January '05 Printing Shipments & Today's Unemployment Report

January printing shipments were $7.5 billion. This was +$238 million compared to January 2004, flat on an inflation-adjusted basis and about 3% less on an inflation adjusted basis compared to January 2003. I will be providing further analysis in my WhatTheyThink column next week.

There was a mixed unemployment report today. Those who watch the payroll survey were thrilled with the upward January revision and the 262,000 new payroll jobs in February. The household survey, however, was down -97,000 jobs. The unemployment rate went up to 5.4% because more people have been encouraged to look for work. That increases the size of the potential labor force (the denominator of the equation), which also helped the rate rise. It is not uncommon to see unemployment rates rise temporarily when employment prospects (as indicated in the ISM reports) are improving.

I'll discuss all these in detail in next Friday's WTT column.

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