Reclaiming Common Sense

(April 2) The ADP Payroll report is "always" released the Wednesday prior to the Friday that the monthly Employment Situation Report is released by the government. The ADP number is a seasonally adjusted only data set. This data closely resembles the Private Sector Current Employment Statistics data. The "headline number" for the CES data is the "Non-Farm Payroll" number that includes government jobs. ADP does not include government jobs. "March ADP Expectations: Up over 215k" projected that two sectors might drop month to month and that one sector might drop March to March.

(April 3) What were the most read articles this past month on this website? Where are your interests. The appear to be a number of you who wake up on Saturday and Read the week in review articles, similar to this one. There are some of you who like the Jobs report and ADP report forecast articles. There are some of you who are still interested in the weekly Unemployment Claims articles. The "Top Ten Articles of March 2018" included four week in review articles, two weekly unemployment claims articles, and two jobs forecast articles. You will have to check out the top ten article to find out the other two articles.

(April 4) Wednesday we received a pleasant surprise. The March ADP payroll number Marched ahead 245,000 jobs. Every sector increased their payrolls between February and March, including the Information Technology Sector and Trade, Transportation and Utility Sectors. Heck, 245,000 jobs is "at least" 215,000 jobs.

(April 5)   Thursday was Unemployment Claims Data Day. The report was summarily dismissed in the media. The non-seasonally adjusted data was recorded 27,000 lower than the same week last year and reported only  9,000 lower. If the same seasonal factor was used this year as was used last year then this year's seasonally adjusted data would have been reported HIGHER than last year. The continuing claims data recorded and reported a drop in claims.

(April 6) The monthly jobs report was eagerly anticipated this week. The other prognosticators were expecting a number of 190,000 seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll jobs. The "problem" is that while others were reporting the headline number as being a disappointment, they forgot to mention that February's seasonally adjusted data was revised higher, borrowing some growth from March, and that the seasonal factor used to convert the data from the non-seasonally adjusted level recorded to the seasonally adjusted data reported was the lowest since 1980, thereby reducing the seasonally adjusted data. They also forgot to mention that the "March Jobs Report was better than March 2017."

(April 7)Week in Review

(April 9) The week started with "Five Presidents at 14 months." What has this President done? Has he just ridden the coattails  of President Obama? No. President Trump has added more full-time jobs during his first fourteen months than Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush and Obama did during their first fourteen months. Unemployment is down and participation is up even after massive revisions to the workforce population brought down President Trumps participation rate this January.

(April 9) There was a considerable amount of news regarding wages rising with the release of the January Jobs report. This was supposedly the "trigger' for the early year sell-off in the stock market. Workers have been hoping for wage increases and newscasters have been seeking some sort of wage increase to coincide with an economic recovery. "Shh. Wages are Rising" details how the March to March growth in wages were across the board. Some saw wages of 2% while others saw wages increase by up to 6%.

(April 10) The March Jobs Forecast article anticipated some growth in the multiple job worker data. That didn't happen. "March Multiple Job Workers Step Back" details how the total multiple job worker number, those working a primary full-time job and a secondary part-time job, and those working two part-time jobs did not return to the levels seen during March 2017.

(April 10)  This has been an incomplete recovery. There are eleven super sectors for Current Employment Statistic (CES) Workers. There are ten private sectors and the government sector. You probably didn't hear that "March Worker Data was up in Ten Sectors." Combine increasing workers and increasing wages and you should see an increase in spending.

(April 11) This has been an incomplete recovery for men. There was a considerable amount of attention given to the "War on Women" during the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections. Women were the first to recover all of their lost full-time jobs that were lost during the recession during February 2015. Men finally recovered their lost full-time jobs, over ten million, during the Summer of 2016, before losing those gains by January 2017. This month something interesting happened: Men gained full-time jobs and women lost full-time jobs. "Men are Marching Back to Full-time Jobs."

(April 11)  Inflation is Back. Or is it? The Official "All Items" inflation rate was 2.4%. This was higher than what was reported during February. This 2.4% is identical to what was reported for February 2017. Here's the thing: The true all-items inflation was actually 2.8% last March. The true all-items inflation rate was 2.14% this March. "March CPI: Commodity Deflation, Service Inflation" examines the data.

(April 12) The weekly unemployment claims data was ignored once again. "April Unemployment Claims are Still Strong." First-time unemployment claims were lower for the first week of April than they were during the first week of April 1970, 1971, and 1972. While they were higher than the first week of April last year, the data this week, the April 7, 2018 data, was closer to the calendar data date for April 8, 2017. Say that three times fast. Calendar data date. Continuing claims were also low for the fifth and final week of March. They were considerably lower than the levels recorded during the final week of March for 1971, 1972 and all years through and including 2017. Oh, and we have 140 million covered insured compared to 53 million covered insured during March 1971.

(April 13) We will be receiving data on new home construction, new home sales, and existing home sales between April 17th and April 24th. "March 2018 Real Estate Forecast: Momentum" examined the possible outcomes for each of those three reports. New Home Starts, Completions, and Units under construction should exceed last year's levels and should continue to the return to normalcy that was seen prior to the Housing Recession of 2005-2010. New Home sales should pop higher than last March and higher than this February, We should see a new record March Average Sales Price. Existing Homes could surge higher than last year's March level. Inventory, or the lack thereof, could hold back sales. We should set another March existing home average sales price record.

(April 13)  Contrary to the narrative heard elsewhere, we are in a Retail Renaissance, not a Retail Ice Age. Retail sales during 2017 were the highest ever recorded. We just had our best January retail month, non-seasonally adjusted, after having our best January Retail sales month, non-seasonally adjusted. "March MARTS Retail Forecast:  Remarkable" examined the month to month growth and the March to march growth and found that while we could see March to March declines in the Electronic and Appliance Sector, The Clothing and Clothing Accessory Sector, and the Sporting Goods and Hobby Sector, we should see Total growth of 5% to 10% over the March 2017 level. Month to month growth is even more remarkable. Month to month growth should be up for all sectors by double digits. Every sector should be up 11% to 20% over their February Levels. The total growth March 2018 versus March 2017 could be 15%, 16%, 17%, or 18%.

(April 14) Week in Review

(April 16) This week we received the March Retail Sales Report (MARTS.) We had our best non-seasonally adjusted January this January. We had our best February non-seasonally adjusted MARTS retail month this February. The same thing happened this March. "March Retail: Record First Quarter" goes into detail.

(April 17)
New Construction is a stimulus for the economy. This week we received data that indicates that the still recovering new construction industry is moving forward from the Great Recession. "March New Construction: Up, Up, and Up" details how the new home starts were up month to month and March to March. The same can be said for the under construction data and the completions data.

(April 18) 
The March Jobs Report, or employment situation report, was not received with very much love when it was released. This March was better than March 2017. This column writes numerous articles each month regarding the data in the report. Sometimes the data that is reported is just the tip of the iceberg. There is employment and unemployment data by age group in the report. There is more data available from the Current Employment Statistics data set. "March's Graying Workforce" discusses the urban legend of low teen unemployment and the myth of low participation among our seniors pulling down the overall participation rate.

(April 19)
Yes, they still produce weekly unemployment claims reports. In case you haven't heard this elsewhere, "Unemployment Claims Continue to Drop." First time claims dropped and continuing claims dropped this week, too.

(April 19)
This article started by saying that there were three reports and three anniversaries this week. So far this summary column has covered the three reports: The Monthly Retail Report, the Monthly New Construction Report, and the Weekly Unemployment Claims report. April 19th was the anniversary of the Waco Incident and the Oklahoma City Bombing. April 20th was the 19th anniversary of the Columbine Shooting. There are many days that have historical significance. December 7th is a day that will live in infamy. September 11th is the anniversary of the terror attacks in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, as well as the terror attacks in Benghazi and Cairo. "April 19th was our First 9-11" because it was an attack that killed over 160 people, men, women, and children, and just like Benghazi, it was scheduled to occur on the anniversary of another event in history.

(April 21)  Week in Review

(April 23)  The week started with the Existing Home Sales Report. "March Existing Homes: Record Average Sales Price" detailed how while sales of existing homes was slightly lower than March 2017 and higher than the March sales levels of 1999, 2000, 2008-2016. Once again we set a record low inventory level for the current month.

(April 24)
The "March New Homes Sales Jumped" this past month. The Units sold jumped 10% over last March. The Average Sales price dropped from the level recorded last March while the median price rose.

(April 25)
How do you know if the news is good if you do not know what to expect. The "First Quarter GDP Forecast" article detailed how the underlying data that had already been published projected a better "Table 1" headline Gross Domestic Product number and a better "Table 8" same quarter growth rate. Where "experts" were anticipating a headline number under 2%this column was projecting a number over 2% and approaching 2.6% or 2.7%.

(April 26)
The weekly first tome unemployment claims data was remarkable, yet again.The non-seasonally adjusted claims data dropped below 200,000 again. This had not happened for decades until the Fall of 2015. This does not happen normally during the Spring. The non-seasonally adjusted continuing claims and the first-time claims were the lowest for the current week of the year since the 1970s.

(April 27)
The "experts" were proven wrong. The "Table 1" GDP value came in at 2.3%, higher than first quarter 2017 GDP of 1.2% and higher than the first quarter 2016 GDP of 0.6%. The Table 8 GDP was up for the seventh consecutive quarter at 2.9%. There has been steady improvement in this value since  the third quarter of 2016. "First Quarter GDP Seriously Good" also projects that the preliminary first quarter GDP will be high than the advance value.

(April 28)  Week in Review

(April 30) The end of one month normally means that a Jobs Report is coming the first Friday of the month. The Article "April Jobs Report Forecast: Popping Good" projected a spike in the non-seasonally adjusted Current Employment Statistics (CES) Private Sector Worker data, a low seasonal factor, and revisions to the prior two months of CES data. It also projected a non-seasonally adjusted Current Population Survey (CPS) jump in full-time and part-time jobs, as well as a major drop in the unemployment level.