Today's employment numbers illustrate why the month-to-month change in employment doesn't deserve as much attention as it usually gets. One month ago, the stock market tanked when the August jobs number showed an unexpected decrease (-4000 jobs) for the month; now, that same number for August has been revised upwards to +89,000 jobs. I suppose the market will jump today on that "good news." If it does, I think I'll start analyzing short-term trading strategies to take advantage of the monthly overreaction.
Below are the charts showing 12-month changes (Sept. '07 vs Sept. '06). The private sector added 1.4 million jobs, and the federal government decreased by 22 thousand jobs.
Click to enlarge:
The source data (BLS tables B-1 and B-3) can be accessed at this page.