Reclaiming Common Sense

(July 1) The week started with the article "June ADP Should Bounce Back from Weak May" projected strength across the board June to June. There was the possibility for some weakness month to month.

(July 2) The article "June Jobs Report Could Be Best June Ever" projected strength in the Private Sector Worker levels, the full-time jobs number, and unemployment. It was projected that we would see a huge spike in full-time jobs, a significant drop in part-time jobs, and the unemployment level rise as workers searched for jobs (all non-seasonally adjusted.)

(July 3) The ADP report was a disappointment. The article "June ADP Reveals Weakness in Leisure and Hospitality" made it appear that we might be in store for a second weak Employment Situation Report (Jobs Report.) Sometimes the ADP report and Jobs Report are out of sync.

(July 4) There were many things happening July 3rd, July 4th, and July 5th. The weekly unemployment claims data was released on Wednesday the 3rd instead of Thursday the 4th. This column published the weekly unemployment claims article on Thursday. "Independence Day Strength in Unemployment Claims" data reported the non-seasonally adjusted drop in first-time claims for the 5th week of June and the slight uptick in the non-seasonally adjusted continuing claims data for the fourth week of June. The insured unemployment rate is at the historic low for the fourth week of June.

(July 6) The Friday Jobs report required, and requires, a considerable amount of analysis. The report was remarkable. It was not fake news, unless you are discussing how the full-time and part-time jobs levels were seasonally adjusted, and how the unemployment level was reported as rising when it should have been reported as falling, even though the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment level rose very slightly. "June Jobs Report Records Record Employment, Jobs" examines the current Employment Statistics worker data and the Current Population Survey jobs and unemployment data. There will be more analysis next week.

(July 6) The Week in Review This week was a remarkable Week. There was a lot to discuss.Remarkable ADP Data. Remarkable Unemployment Data. Remarkable Jobs Report.  "July 6 Week in Review: Jumping June Jobs" Includes the above articles

(July 8) The June Jobs report was better than was expected by most observers. This column had projected strong Job and Unemployment data (Current Population Survey - CPS) and strong wages and worker data (Current Employment Statistics - CES.) The average wage increase data was reported elsewhere. What was not reported was the synergistic energy of improving worker levels, improving wage levels, and improving hours worked levels. "June Workers, Hours Worked, and Wages Rose" details how the combined growth rates ended up in Earnings increasing by 6.60% during June.

(July 8) There have been a number of people who want to give credit to the current economy to the former President. If we compare the number of CPS jobs created during the first 29 months under former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush , and Obama with current President Trump the question of who is responsible for the economy is apparent. "Five Presidents at 29 Months: Jumping Junes" reports that only former President Clinton and President Trump have been able to both reduce unemployment and boost full-time jobs.

(July 9) The Jobs Report released this month was for June. The JOLTS report released this month was for May. The CPS jobs data differentiates between full-time jobs and part-time jobs. The JOLTS data is closer to the CES worker and wages data than the CPS jobs and unemployment data. People like to compare the JOLTS job openings data to the CPS unemployment data. You might as well compare the JOLTS data to the weekly continuing claims data.  "May JOLTS report Records Record Levels of May Job Openings and Quits" details how the most job openings, the most hires, the most total separations, and the most quits are in four sectors. Three of these sectors are in the bottom four for hourly wages.

(July 10) Men lost over 10 million full-time jobs between July 2007 and January 2010. Women lost over 3.5 million full-time jobs during the same time period. There were almost 1.5 million non-seasonally adjusted full-time jobs created during July and over 800,000 part-time jobs trimmed. "Men and Women Swapping Part-time Jobs for Full-time Jobs" examines the CPS jobs data, including the multiple job worker data. More men and more women are working this may than during previous years during the month of May. That could not be said between 2007 and 2018.

(July 11) Non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims tend to spike during the first week of July while continuing claims tend to spike during the second week of July. This week's NSA FTU spike was not as large as expected so the seasonally adjusted (SA) FTU claims fell. NSA Continuing Claims rose this week, the fifth week of June. "Weekly Claims Will Start Trending Lower, Again" details the data and the potential for record low first-time claims data, and continuing claims data, this October.

(July 11) The weekly unemployment claims data was released at the same time, on the same day, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data. What was this month's rate of inflation? Was it 1.44% or 1.6% or 1.75%? We saw commodity deflation, shelter and service inflation, and a spike in Health Insurance Costs. "June Inflation, What Inflation? Health Insurance" discusses the problems with the inflation data and how the "Phillips Curve" is broken. Is it broken?

(July 12) Thursday was a busy day for economic data. The monthly Treasury Report on revenue and outlays was released at 3:00 PM. This year The we saw tax cuts. Last month the media was lamenting lower corporate taxes as a cause for the growing deficit this year. This month it was recorded that we brought in more corporate revenue this year through June than during the same time period last year. The media was silent. "Tax Cuts are Paying for Themselves" digs into the data.

(July 13) "July 13 Week in Review: Wages Up, Inflation Down"  covered the May Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data, the Weekly Unemployment claims data, the June Consumer Price Index (CPI)(Inflation) data, and the June Treasury Statement. There was also time to dig into the Jobs Report data, moth the CES Wages and worker data and the CPS jobs and Unemployment data.

(July 15)  We are in a Retail Renaissance. We have set current month records for total retail sales each of the first five months of the year. "June Retail Should Soar 4%-8% from Last June" was anticipating significant strength June to June even with virtually across the board declines in all categories month to month except Sporting Goods, Hobbies, Books and Music (SGHBM.) The article examined the seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted data.

(July 16)  New Home Sales, New Home Construction, and Existing Home Sales are economic multipliers. The article "June Real Estate Forecast: Modest Growth from Last June" projected that there could be a decline in starts or the potential to break through 84,000 units started. Completions were expected to improve month to month and June to June.Under Construction properties were expected to break through 1.14 million units. New home sales and existing home sales were expected to be remarkable.

(June 18)  They still produce weekly unemployment claims reports. The seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims streak has been ongoing since March 7, 2015. The Continuing C;aims (SA CC) Streak has been ignored. This streak really has been ongoing since April 1, 2017 (No April Fools here.) The Insured Unemployment Rate is significantly lower than it was the same week last year. "Strong Start to July Continuing Claims" goes into the details of the seriously low first-time unemployment claims, the remarkably low continuing claims, and the low IUR.

(July 19)  The June Retail report was remarkable. We have now had four consecutive months of greater than $500 billion total sales. "New June Record Retail Month" detailed some surprises, including revisions to the non-seasonal and seasonal data.

(July 19) The New Home Starts data, the New Home Completions, and the Units under construction were  good, not great. The new home starts data declined for the second June in a row. That said the number of starts is better than what was recorded, year to date, than 2017 and slightly slower than 2018 year to date. The completions data declined for back to back Junes and they still ahead of schedule year to date compared to 2008 through 2018. The Units under construction are exceeding those of 2008-2018. This all matters because one month does not determine the results of a quarter or a year. "New Home Completions Still Ahead of 2018" digs into the data.

(July 20) The week started with a New Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home sales forecast for the month of June. There was also a June MARTS Retail forecast article. We received the New Home Construction report, the June Retail Report, and the Weekly Unemployment claims report. "July 2- Week in Review: Retail and Real Estate" summarized the week's data."

(July 23)  The real estate market is an economic multiplier. The Great Recession was really three recessions rolled into one: A Housing Recession, a Jobs Recession, and a Retail Recession which was rolled into the Gross Domestic Production Recession. "June Existing Home Sales: Units Down, Sales Price Up" details the June record average sales price and the improving inventory situation.

(July 24) The June New Home Sales report was better than the June Existing Home Report. We saw the most June units sold since 2007, twelve years ago, and approached the June Average Sales Price Record. Inventory is up from last June and remains withing the 300,000 to 400,000 units range.  "June New Home Sales Reveal Strength" explains how we are not in a recession. New Home sales are still in recovery mode.

(July 25) The first-time unemployment claims data used to be headline news at the bottom of the hour most Thursdays during the Obama Presidency. Did you know that last year we had 21 weeks where the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims data was recorded under 200,000 claims? The benchmark was under 300,000 seasonally adjusted claims. "First-time Unemployment Claims Dropped" details how this is the tenth week this year with NSA FTU claims under 200,000 claims. We had one week under 200,000 claims during 2015, two weeks during 2016, four weeks during 2017. Last year we had a record setting 21 weeks with NSA FTU claims under 200,000 claims. We are ahead of last year's pace. Crickets make more noise than the mainstream media.

(July 26) This month we received the Advance Second Quarter GDP data and the revisions of the data back to 2014. Last year the "annual revision" included revisions back to 1929. They must have needed to update the automobile and car sales data. There was a considerable amount of things to discuss, including how the annualized data for 2014 and 2016 were revised higher, boosting former President Obama's data, and revised lower for 2017. This was the second time that the 2017 data was revised lower.  These revisions also impacted the same quarter GDP data. Instead of having eleven consecutive quarters of Same Quarter GDP growth we are now off the peak set during the second quarter of 2018.  What was ignored elsewhere is the increase in disposable income and the increase in Personal Savings. "Second Quarter GDP and Revisions: Some Surprises" details how the personal savings rate has improved from 6.8% (2016) %  and 7.0% (2017) and then 7.7% (2018) to this quarter. Could people be boosting their savings because of the "inevitable recession" that is/was supposed to happen because Donald J. Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election? It also details how the annual revisions to the data have boosted the second quarter GDP for 2015Q2. It was  was originally reported at 2.3% and revised  to 2.6%, to  after the 2016Q2 revisions to 2.7% to 2.8% to 3.0%. The former President STILL does not have an entire year of 3.0% GDP growth. There is always next year.

(July 27) The article "July 27 Week in Review: Solid Data" was written during"Mueller Time." The man whose name was on the report did not have a full comprehension of what was inside the report. He promised to stay to the four corners of the report. He failed to recognize the importance of the impetus of the report. His testimony, the pre-mortem, and post-mortem, and the eulogy gobbled up valuable airtime in which strong Durable Goods data, remarkably low unemployment claims data, a near record June new home average sales price, a record June Existing Home Average Sales Price, improving existing home inventory, and a "better than expected" second quarter GDP could have been discussed. A cursory look at the Annualized GDP histogram shows that we have a steady economy, compared to the massive spikes and troughs that happened between 2009 and 2015. Watch the data. "Ignore" the reports.

(July 29) The ADP Payroll report is released on a Wednesday, so the Forecast Article needs to be produced before that time. "July ADP Should Show Strength Except IT" examined the month to month growth rates, and annual July to July growth rates  by sector, and as a whole. It was projected that the annual growth rate could pick up from last month's disappointing growth rate. It was thought that we could grow by 199,000 to 224,000 payroll positions, prior to revisions to the May and June data.

(July 30)  The Employment Situation Report forecast article examined the Current Population Survey (CPS) data on jobs and unemployment, as well as the Current Employment Situation (CES) data on worker and wages. It was thought that we would grow the level of non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Full-time jobs and trim part-time jobs. It was projected that unemployment would fall from the July 2018 level and be higher than the June 2019 level. Construction, Natural Resources (M/L,) Professional Business Services (PBS,) Leisure and Hospitality (LAH,) and Manufacturing. The expectations were for 80,000 to 150,000 non-seasonally adjusted workers to join the workforce. "July Full-time Jobs and Workers Should Rise" goes into the detail of the potential for another record month for workers and jobs.

(July 31)  Wednesday we received a solid ADP Payroll report. We saw month to month growth in all sectors except information and in Mining and Logging, or Natural Resources. "ADP Report 156,000 plus 15,000 of revisions" detailed how we also saw July to July Growth in all sectors except IT and M/L.

This column has been attempting, during the past five years, to tie together the reports. The rest of the media is focused for the moment on the report du jour. Seasonally adjusted data is not worthless; it is close to worthless. Low unemployment coupled with record levels of non-seasonally adjusted workers and non-seasonally adjusted weekly wages means more gross income earned. Last week we had comparable tax revenue from individuals and corporations even with lower tax rates. If people are earning more and sending less to the government, relatively speaking, that frees up more for spurring the economy. We should see an increase in units sold and average sales prices for new home sales next week. That will boost Gross Private Domestic Investments and Personal Consumption Expenditures and GDP.

It's the Economy