Each month we encourage readers to act carefully when making interpretations of the employment situation report.
We have done an extensive review of the methods used. The result was our Payroll Employment Game where users can simulate the experience of trying to outguess the government. Give it a try, and take a look at the charts and data that might be used in your forecast. (No contest this month due to the holiday-interrupted week, but we'll have a prize again next month).
For this month, our own model shows a gain of 167,000 jobs, based upon strength in ISM manufacturing, weekly jobless claims, and consumer sentiment. The problem is that we will not know the real answer for about 18 months, when all of the data revisions are done.