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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jobs Growth in Chicagoland

The Chicago ISM survey of area purchasers was released on Wednesday. The purchasers manager's index (PMI) rose sharply, up nearly 4 points to 60.0. This Chicagoland index has now posted gains for three months straight -- all at accelerating rates (60.0 Dec, 56.1 Nov, 54.2 Oct).

The new orders have also held to over 60 for three straight months. This is actually quite surprising given that each month's comparison is increasingly difficult to maintain such acceleration. Any reading above 50 indicates month-to-month growth.

Order backlogs were also strong in today's report -- month-to-month growth indications that a slowdown is not in store anytime soon.

We have been laser focused on jobs recently. The report indicated that employment jumped more than 9 points in the month to 51.2. That level is indicative of month-to-month net hiring.

Like the Texas report earlier this month, the Chicago area readings underscore a return to payroll expansion this December -- likely confirmed in next week's employment report.

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