Reclaiming Common Sense

Eye Opening Jobs Data being Ignored Elsewhere

President Obama's final Jobs Report was released Friday February 3rd. The rest of the media was claiming this was President Trumps first jobs report. The data used for the January Jobs report was collected through January 12, 2017. The inauguration was January 20th. If you thought that there must be more to the Jobs report an the number of seasonally adjusted "jobs" added to the economy and the unemployment rate then you are correct. This column invests a ton of time and effort into analyzing the data. It starts with the Jobs Report Forecast column. The purpose of that is to prepare the readers for the possibilities, including the growth rates anticipated, the seasonal factors used to convert the recorded non-seasonally adjusted data to the reported seasonally adjusted data, and the notion that the prior month's data may be revised downward to "boost" the current month's data, as was done during the Month of May 2016. The January Jobs Report Review Column, titled "Bogus January Jobs Number,"detailed how the rate of contraction was better than expected and how the seasonal factor distorted the "jobs" number. That was a week ago Friday.  This week this column dug into the data and found some interesting items for discussion.

(Feb 6) This column has analyzed the claims of job production by this administration for years. It was essential to compare President Obama's accomplishments at the same point in his Presidency as the other two term Presidents. "Four Presidents at 96 months Participation Matters" compared President Obama with President Reagan, President Clinton, and President George W Bush (Bush 43.) We are not at, or near, full-employment. This column has been discussing "effective Unemployment" for months. This column finally coined the phrase/term "U-7 Unemployment" this month. President Obama added fewer than 5 million participants over eight years. President Bush added just over 10 million participants over his eight years in office. Presidents Reagan and Clinton added over 15 million participants to their economies. The U-7 is at least 9.98% this month.

(Feb 7) This has been an uneven recovery . Not all job sectors have recovered to pre-recession levels of jobs. "Five Sectors Still in Recovery" details how every sector lost jobs during the month of January, how this job loss is normal, and how the Mining and Logging Sector, the Construction Sector, The IT Sector, the Manufacturing Sector and the Government Sector are not back to January 2007 levels of employment. It also details how the 2016 data was revised between the December report and the January Report.

(Feb 8)  This column has been inspired to research topics based on memes on Twitter. One of those memes was the genesis for a November 2014 article titled "War on Women? Men lost 744,000 jobs during the month of November." This led to the creation of a regular feature of this website and its parallel website. This month  the article "The Forgotten Male Worker" detailed how there have been over 10 million male workers added to the workforce population since July 2007. The problem is that there are 1.6 million fewer full-time jobs for men and 1.8 million more part-time jobs for men. We need more than 177,000 jobs for 10 million male workers over a period of 9.5 Years.

(Feb 9) Did you know that they still publish weekly unemployment claims data? They do. They record the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time unemployment claims number and the continuing claims number. They report the seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time unemployment claims and continuing claims number.When they compare seasonally adjusted data from different seasons of the yea,r or different years with different seasonal factors, FACTs (False Assertions Considered to be True)  are created.   We did not have the lowest SA First-time claims number since November 1973. Not even close."Unemployment Claims FACT misleads" goes into great detail.

(Feb 9) The data provided with the monthly jobs report  provides eye-opening data that is often ignored. If the jobs report says that we  added jobs we must have added jobs.One of the under-reported elements is the data that records  the state of the multiple job worker. Some people are working two part-time jobs, two full-time jobs, or a combination of part-time and full-time jobs.This past year we set a record for the most people working two part-time jobs during one month, ever. The data goes back to 1994. This month we had the second highest level of January workers working two part-time jobs and the second highest January level of people working two full-time jobs."January's Multiple Job Economy" goes into detail how this number is skewing the weekly unemployment claims data.

(Feb 10) There has been some discussion in the media that the reason why we are seeing a drop in the participation rate is because people are retiring and are still being counted as a part of the workforce population. They must not have read "The Forgotten Male Worker" or its predecessors. There is an interesting trend that is observed through the changing data over the past thirteen years. Some age groups, when tracked in five year intervals, are doing better than others. We are also seeing participation in the over 60 age groups increasing since the Great Recession. "The Aging Workforce - Class of 2007" tracks each age group and finds that we have a failure to participate.

This column digs into the data and produces articles that give a slightly different perspective on the news. There is more to the Jobs Report than the headline number or numbers. We cannot seasonally adjust our income. Why should we trust seasonally adjusted data from the government? This was the final Jobs Report for President Obama. He ignored the first year in office and based his jobs streak on seasonally adjusted data starting at the bottom of the recession. Will the mainstream media allow him to start his statistics from the bottom of the economic cycle that he has inherited? It is possible that we are 6 months into a jobs recession. Will we pull out or continue to see worker growth at less than 1.5% and Less than 1%? Time will tell.

It's the economy.