Shares of Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) are once again pointing to a lower
Last month, Manpower's stock was a fairly good predictor of a weaker than expected employment number. Things don't look much different this time around. The consensus expectation is for 150,000 new jobs, but the range of expectations for the new jobs number is very broad, ranging from 95,000 to 206,000, according to Econoday and The Wall Street Journal.
Chart Courtesy of StockCharts.com
The odds of a 206,000 number are quite small, but it is possible that the 95,000 figure may not be that far off the mark, at least if you look at the bets Wall Street seem to be making.
The latest data from the company puts things in an interesting perspective. According to a 5/29/12 press release, Manpower concludes that there is an employment "crisis" in the U.S., where qualified engineers and IT professionals are increasingly difficult to find. The release notes: "49 percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations. Although slightly lower than the 52 percent of employers struggling in 2011, a significant percentage of total U.S. employers continue to face hiring challenges despite continued high unemployment. U.S. employers are struggling to find available talent more than their global counterparts, where 34 percent of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions."
The chart is easy enough to analyze. The stock is near its recent lows, and trading below its 20, 50, and 200-day moving average. Unless there is some significant improvement, the story on employment is likely to remain unchanged.
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