Reclaiming Common Sense

(Feb. 1) The first week and review of the month was one that examined the JOLTS data, the GDP data, the Weekly Unemployment Claims data, and the new Home Sales data. "Feb. 1 Week in Review: Growth" also looked at the Coronavirus data and the "Colorblind Expansion Data."

(Feb. 3)  The week started with two forecasts. The  Monday forecast was for this week's ADP Private sector Payroll Report. "Jan. ADP Could Be Remarkable Strong" detailed how we could see month to month and January to January growth in all sectors, with the possible exception of Mining and Logging (Natural Resources,) and how we could challenge last January's 264,000 level and approach 300,000 position added this January.

(Feb. 4) This week we received the January Jobs Report and Revisions. The media was salivating that the report was going to include downward revisions to the prior data of half a million workers. They did not understand that we could have another strong seasonally adjusted jobs report number. "Jan. Jobs Forecast: Seasonal Factors and Revisions" examined the month to month and January to January changes and projected that we would see non-seasonally adjusted month to moth declines in all sectors, while we would most likely see seasonally adjusted month to month growth in all sectors except possibly Mining and Logging. The Legacy Media was looking at trends and saying that we should only add roughly 155,000 non-farm payroll positions. This column examines the data on a month by month basis. Could we add 240,000 workers? Could we add 270,000 workers? Could we add 330,000 workers? (Yes, this column went there.) The article also touched on the Current Population Survey Jobs and Unemployment data, and discussed the possibilities for an increase, January to January, in Multiple Job Workers.

(Feb. 5) Wednesday's January ADP Payroll Report was a "Wowza" report. We had our best January ADP Payroll Report since January 2006. "Jan. ADP Starts the Year Strong: 291,000 Positions" reported the headline number, as well as the month to month and January to January declines in Natural Resources (Mining and Logging.) This report clearly caught the Legacy Media flat-footed.

(Feb. 6)  The weekly unemployment claims data was ignored by most in the media, at least when it was released. We recorded our 256th consecutive week with the first-time unemployment claims level being reported under 300,000 claims and the 146th consecutive week with the 146th consecutive week with the seasonally adjusted continuing claims level being reported under 2.0 million claims. "Weekly Claims: First Week of February 202,000 Claims" explained just how good the data really was.

(Feb.7)  Friday's January Jobs Report was a blow-out by all accounts. It was a major blow-out, a four tire blow-out, an "everything must go blow-out," an all you can eat Thanksgiving blowout. The forecast article talked about watching the revisions and the seasonal factors. The overall seasonal factor that was used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted data that was recorded to the seasonally adjusted value that was reported was the lowest since 1980. This means that the seasonally adjusted value was reported lower by more than  200,000 workers than it would have been reported if we used the 2018 seasonal factor. The unemployment rate  was the lowest for January since January 1967. The article "January Jobs Report: Revisions and Remarkable Data" took hours to prepare. So many revisions. As expected, workers originally credited to President Trump were shifted backwards to former President Obama.

 (Feb, 8 ) The President was acquitted. Coronavirus is still in the headlines. The Coronavirus situation was 99% contained to China. "Feb. 8 Week in Review: Blockbuster Week" examined the ADP data, the Jobs Report Data, and the Weekly Claims Data.

(Feb. 11) The week started where last week left off. Last week we received the January Jobs Report which reported fewer workers being added than they could have reported had they used last year's overall seasonal factor for converting the non-seasonally adjusted data to the reported seasonally adjusted data. The Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data also includes data on wages and hours worked. We had a record level of January workers earning record levels of wages. The article "Record January Worker and Wages Data" examines the data for the Month of January versus January 2019. It also examines the changes in workers under President Trump.

(Feb. 11) There was considerable discussion regarding comparing former President Obama's accomplishments regarding jobs creation compared to former  Presidents George HW Bush, George W Bush, and Clinton. The original meme ignored former  President Reagan. This comparison was made around month 80- of the Obama administration, and 96 months under the other Presidents, and the changes that happen during January. "Five Presidents at 36 Months: Momentum" compares the accomplishments of President Trump against the most recent two term Presidents. There is even some "first 36 month" and "final 36 month" comparisons for President Trump with former President Obama. Some feel it is unfair to compare Obama's first 36 months with the other Presidents. They are cherry-picking data because the former President's first 36 months in office were week and they only want to talk about the jobs gains after the job losses stopped.

(Feb. 12)  The Legacy Media wants to compare the JOLTS Job Opening data with the Current Population Survey (CPS) Unemployment data. It is like comparing the studio temperatures at television stations in Tampa, Florida and Tomah, Wisconsin  on February 15th. Just ignore the fact that the data is seasonally adjusted, measures two different things using two different surveys, with two different sample sizes, and two different margins of error. Ignorance is bliss. Incompetence is unacceptable. "Dec. JOLTS: Record Dec. Hires, Quits and Separations" includes links to the previous articles discussing the December Jobs Report data.

(Feb. 12)  Part of understanding the reports the government releases is understanding what to expect from the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data. The January MARTS (Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey) data was supposed to decline from the December Christmas Highs, NSA, and possibly set an all-time record high for the SA MARTS data. The article "January Retail Forecast: Another $500 billion month reported" details the sectors that were expected to grow and decline, seasonally adjusted, and non-seasonally adjusted, month to month and January to January. A range of $528B to $532B was predicted.

(Feb. 13) Thursday is still weekly unemployment claims day. This was the 257th consecutive week where the seasonally adjusted first-time claims data was reported under 300,000 claims. This was the 147th consecutive week where we had the seasonally adjusted continuing claims level reported under 2.0 million claims. The Insured unemployment rate was the lowest ever for the first week of February. It was also the lowest First-time Issuance Rate for the second week of February. "First-time Claims Reported Under 300,000: Week 257"  reported on the data that the Legacy Media loves to ignore.

(Feb. 13) The CPI Inflation data was released at exactly the same time as the Weekly Claims data. We received information similar to what we have been receiving for years: Shelter inflation over 3%, Commodity deflation, Service Inflation, Health Insurance Inflation. Energy spiked this month. We could see a decline next month. "Jan. CPI: Transitory Pop to 2.54%" explains how this inflation rate is comparable to what was recorded during January 2017.

(Feb. 14) The January MARTS Retail report was better than was reported in the Legacy Media. "Jan. Retail Sales: 21st Consecutive $500 billion month" explains how the Current Year sales are starting off stronger than last year. It explains that this was our best seasonally adjusted retail sales month ever. It also reported on how the non-seasonally adjusted data fell to levels that were expected and remained our best January ever.

(Feb. 15) This week we had the New Hampshire Democrat Primary. Joe Biden came in fifth place. We also had information regarding FISAgate. The coronavirus, COVID-19, or the Wuhan Virus, was still mainly contained to China. "Feb. 15 Week in Review: Unsung Records" attempted to get people talking about the US Economy versus the Wuhan Virus.

(Feb. 18)  This week started with a forecast article for this week's January New Home Construction data, this week's January Existing Home Sales data, and next week's January New Home Sales data. "January Housing Forecast: Upward Momentum" was projecting improvement across the board for the January to January changes. Part of the optimism was due to not having the Schumer Shutdown as we had last year. Part of the optimism is that new home sales and new home construction have been improving for years. Part of the enthusiasm was due to 2019 existing home sales exceeding 2018 home sales.

(Feb. 19) Wednesday we received the New Construction data for January. "January New Construction: Green Shoots" reported how new home starts rose 7.02% January to January, Units Under Construction rose 3.7i% annually, and completions rose 1.7% during the same period of time.

(Feb. 20) Thursday we received remarkable, outstanding, and totally ignored weekly unemployment claims data. "Unemployment Claims: Too Good to be True" detailed how we have had 258 consecutive weeks with the seasonally adjusted first-time claims reported under 300,000 claims. This is a record. It also details how we have had 148 consecutive weeks with the seasonally adjusted continuing claims level being "reported" under 2.0 million claims.This number is rarely, if ever, reported in the legacy media.

(Feb. 21)  Existing Home Sales are important to a majority of the population. This month, as with the January New Construction data, we had an "easy comp" to beat compared to the Schumer Shutdown month of January 2019. What was missed elsewhere. Existing Home Sales jumped 11.58% from the level recorded last January. This was the best January since 2017 and was better than the January data from 2008-2016 and during 2018.  "January Existing Homes Surprise" also reported the record January Average Sales Price and the improvement in existing home inventory.

(Feb. 22) What did the Legacy Media decide to analyze to death this week? The Democrat Debate? The President Trump Rallies? Coronavirus?  The Wuhan Virus is virtually contained to China. An interesting note is that some call out an "International Conveyance" number. This is most likely those people who were on airplanes and cruise ships. This was covered in "Feb. 22 Week in Review: Strong Real Estate Data" continued the discussion on the economy.

(Feb. 25)  This week started with a deeper dive into the January Jobs Report data.  "Record January for Men, Women, and Multiple Job Workers" examined the Current Population Survey data. The headline CES workers and wages data was not fully appreciated when it was released. The CPS data was virtually ignored.

(Feb. 25) Another analysis of the CPS data involves the jobs and unemployment data by age group. There were those who blamed the decreasing workforce participation rate under Former President Obama on Baby Boomers retiring. "January's Graying Workforce" details how there are more 65-69 year olds working than 16-19 year olds and how we may soon see more 60-64 year olds in the workforce than 20-24 year olds.

(Feb. 26) Wednesday's January New Home Sales Report was lost in the continuing turmoil regarding the Wuhan Virus and the Stock Market Slide. The article "Jan. New Home Sales: Strong Sales" details how the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of Sales for January was the highest for the month of January since January 2007. We also had the most January Non-Seasonally Adjusted units sold and the highest ever January Average Sales Price.

(Feb. 27) This column has been writing weekly articles regarding the weekly unemployment claims streak for years. We are approaching the Five Year Anniversary of Seasonally Adjusted First-time Claims reported under 300,000 Claims.  "Week 259 SA First-time Claims Reported under 300,000" examines the first-time claims data, the continuing cl;aims data (Week 149 under 2 Million,) The Insured Unemployment Rate for the third week of February (lowest ever,) and the First-time Unemployment Rate (Tied for lowest ever for fourth week of February.)  Good news versus "if it bleeds it leads" news. Cough. Cough.

(Feb. 28) Thursday we also received the first revision to the fourth quarter GDP data. "Minor Revisions to Q4 GDP" tells you what was missed by the Legacy Media on Thursday while they were amplifying the Wuhan Virus Crisis and the Stock Market Slide.

(Feb. 29) What did the Legacy Media decide to analyze to death this week? Candidate Biden's Bidenisms?  The President Trump Rallies? Coronavirus? "Feb. 29 Week in Review: Leaping Forward" discussed things other than just Coronavirus.