Reclaiming Common Sense

There was not much new economic data released this week. This allowed further research into last Friday's November Employment Situation Report to occur.  The employment situation report, or jobs report has a considerable amount of data that can be analyzed. The headline number is the "Jobs" number which is usually either the Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Current Employment Statistics (CES) private sector worker number or the SA CES Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) number.  The number of unemployed workers, plus the number of part-time and full-time jobs created or lost during a month are tracked using the Current Population Survey (CPS) data. It is from this CPS data that the workforce participation rate and unemployment rate are calculated. The non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data is the data that is recorded. The SA data is the data that is reported. The seasonal factors used to convert the NSA data to the SA data change between data sets, categories, month, season and year. It is very easy to generate FACTs (False Assertions Considered to be True) when comparing  adjusted  data from different months or years. The following columns are the untold stories you need to know.

(Dec 5) There have been a number of articles written and statements made regarding the "Obama Economy." Has he really created more jobs than President Bush, Clinton, or Reagan, at the same point in their Presidencies? Is the unemployment rate really under 5%? "Four Presidents at 94 Months: Fake Unemployment Rate" examines the number of unemployed workers and the number of full-time and part-time jobs created by the four Presidents. This column takes jab at those who saw articles like this one are "fake news."

(Dec 6) Not all recoveries are equal. This recovery is incomplete. The Bureau of Labor Statistics allows a person to measure changes in employment across eleven sectors. We have seen an incomplete recovery in the retail market. We have seen an incomplete recovery in the housing market. It should come as no surprise that we have seen incomplete recoveries in various sectors of the economy. Right now there are "Five Sectors with Fewer Jobs than November 2008." Contrary what you heard from the white House Press Secretary, we have lost 812,000 manufacturing jobs since November 2008. We have also lost jobs in the Mining and Logging sector, the Information Technology Sector, the Construction Sector and the Government Sector. WE have more jobs in the Financial Sector than we had during November of 2008. The problem is that there are fewer jobs in this sector than we had during 2006.

(Dec 6) If this recovery is so good why aren't we seeing it in a stronger Gross Domestic Product? The GDP is an indicator of growth in the economy. We have been growing at an annual, same quarter, rate of under 3% a year. This is not good. Something else that is not good is that we are seeing a "Record Level of People Working Two Part-time Jobs." This is nothing new. We have either seen a record level of people working two jobs or a record level of people working two part0time jobs virtually every month this year. We have over 8 million people working two jobs right now. This elevated level of dual job holders has kept the unemployment benefits level low - If you lose one job, you still have another.we had 2.3 Million people working two part-time jobs this past month. This is the highest recorded level of two part-time job holders since records started being kept.

(Dec 7) December 7th marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There are many more well versed authors on the topic than I am. Wednesday marked the day that two more articles were written for this column. The first column was another level of analysis on the jobs report. There have been numerous commentaries on the "War on Women." What would you say if I told you that there has been a "War on Men?" The article "Men Working 1.1 Million Fewer Full-time Jobs Than July 2007" examines the employment and unemployment data, jobs, and participation by gender. Men are working  2.4 million more part-time jobs than July 2007. Women have more full-time jobs and more part-time jobs than they had during July 2007. July 2007 was the peak of the pre-recession jobs market.

(Dec 7) The media has been making hardly a mention, as a whole, regarding the weekly unemployment claims number. This is the time of year that claims start to increase on a regular basis. This week of the year tends to see a spike in both continuing claims and first-time unemployment claims. The column "Scrooge Spike in Unemployment Claims Coming Tomorrow" explained how this is normal and to be expected.

(Dec 8) The Employment Situation Report also includes data broken down by age groups. The article "Aging Workforce Can't Retire" examines the employment, unemployment, and participation data for those 16 years and older. There has been a shift in the employment sector. We are seeing workforce participation increasing in those 60-64 years of age, 65-69 years of age, 70-74 years of age, and 75 years and older.We aren't seeing the overall participation rate dropping because Baby Boomers are retiring . We are seeing the participation rate lower than it was prior to the recession because people under the age of 60 are participating less.

(Dec 8) This Thursday the weekly unemployment claims report was released. There was a spike in the first-time unemployment claims recorded and  a drop in claims reported. There was a spike in continuing claims recorded and a drop in continuing claims reported. "Scrooge Spike in Unemployment Claims" goes into the details of the non-seasonally adjusted data.

We are going to be receiving some different economic data over the next few weeks. We will receive new home construction data, new home sales data and existing home sales data. We will receive data on the Retail Sales for November and the Consumer Price Index for November. We will also receive information on Federal Spending. Will we see a Trump Bump?

It's the economy.