Reclaiming Common Sense

The Month of November was a pivotal month for this column. The Employment Situation Report was  released prior to the Presidential Election. This column produced as many articles as possible in preparation for the big event. Normally the articles regarding the results, the Four Presidents at ___ Months" article, the "War on Men" article, and the "Red, Gray, and Blue," article and the Employment Sector analysis take a week to produce. They were produced in half the time by working all weekend long. Here are the links to the article written during the month of November.

(Nov 1) The week started with the review of the Top Ten Columns of October. The Jobs Report Column for September was the number one most read column.  There were two columns on how the data is seasonally adjusted as well as multiple columns on unemployment and inflation.One of the top ten columns was a column from 2015 "The Era of the Meme - Which President has Created More Jobs."It is also important to note that one of the top ten columns of the week was the week in Review column for October 8.

(Nov 2) There are many aspects of the Jobs report that need some attention. What are the quality of jobs created or lost each month? How many jobs are full-time or part-time? Included in that list is "How many people are working two or more jobs?" We saw a surge in people working two part-time jobs last month. The column "Possible October Surge in People Working Two Part-time Jobs" examined the trends in October Multiple Job Holders and found that a huge surge in part-time workers could lead to record levels, or near record levels, of people working two part-time jobs.

(Nov 3) Thursday is still the normal release day for the Weekly Unemployment Claims Report.  "First-time Claims Not at 87 Consecutive Weeks" spent  a considerable amount of time going into detail about how the Under 300,000 weekly claims streak is not at 87 weeks. It is actually at 37 weeks. It also details how the first-time claims level has risen, non-seasonally adjusted, for the past five weeks.  This claims of 87 consecutive weeks is a FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True.

(Nov 3) The last recession was actually three recessions that created the official GDP Recession: A Jobs Recession, A housing Recession, and a Retail Sales Recession. The last recession began with a housing recession after the Summer of 2006. We started to see the start of a Jobs recession after July of 2007 .We  saw monthly unadjusted CES worker losses starting July of 2008. The column "Will Slowing  Growth Go Negative" proposed the idea that we could see real, unadjusted, CES worker contraction this Fall and that if that happened it could signal the beginning of a recession.

(Nov 4) Friday was the "Big Day" before the "Big Day." Friday was Jobs Day. This Jobs Report could have proven to be pivotal. If it was too hot then the Federal Reserve could be inclined to jump interest rates this December. If the report is too cold then it could hinder a Hillary Clinton run at the White House. If it is "just right" nobody but this author would question it. We lost full-time jobs, NSA, and gained part-time jobs. The worker growth was less than 0.40% month to month. Remember the forecast column?  Remember how the data was skewed in the jobs report for September? The data was reported that we supposedly had 142,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers added to the economy.If we used the seasonal factor for October 2015 it would have been reported at 25,000 SA CES Workers.  That would have not been a Goldilocks Report - That would have been downright chilly.

(Nov 4) The Jobs report data provides enough information for multiple columns every month. The second column based on the October Jobs Report data was "Four Presidents at 93 Months - No Comparison." There was a meme that was running through the Internet that President Obama has created more jobs than any other president other than Bill Clinton. That meme was comparing Obama to Clinton, Bush 41 and Bush 43. It ignored President Reagan. It was also based on the final achievements of the Presidents and President Obama with nearly 2 years to go in his Presidency. It is important to compare the data at the same point in the respective Presidencies because we see a huge drop in jobs during January. President Obama has added fewer participants, employed or unemployed workers, than Presidents Bush 43, Clinton, or Reagan at the 93 month mark. This lack of participation means that there are unemployed workers who are no longer being factored into the unemployment rate. If the missing participants are added to the unemployed we would have an effective unemployment rate between 9.74% and 12.01%, not 4.80%.

(Nov 5) The Week in Review Friday was the day for the release of the Jobs Report and the Jobs Data.The rest of the week was the preparation for the column. This week was spent preparing  people for what was to come. The authors of the report have been manipulating the data through the use of extremely favorable seasonal adjustments. This month was no different.

(Nov 5) We saw the release of the jobs report on November 4th. The data was week. The Seasonally adjusted data could have been reported at 25,000 workers added instead of  142,000. The effective unemployment rate, when factoring in the non-participants, could have been reported between 9.74% and 12.01%. Neither of those stories were reported elsewhere. Another issue that has been ignored is that we have "Five Sectors with Fewer Jobs than October 2008." We have fewer people working in Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, IT, and Government than we had working during October of 2008. We had peak employment during July 2007.

(Nov 5) The jobs report also revealed that fewer men are working full-time jobs than during July 2007. Men lost  10.6 million full-time jobs at the depth of the recession. Most of those jobs have returned. "Female Workers Winning Jobs Battle" digs into the full-time job data, part-time job data, and unemployment data. It examines the unemployment rates and participation rates for men and women.  The female workforce has expanded during the recovery more than the male workforce.

(Nov 7) Sunday was spent crunching data. Monday the column writing continued. This year we have seen record monthly  levels of people working multiple part-time jobs more often than not. "More People Working Two Part-time Jobs, Again" looked at the data for people working a full-time job and a part-time job, two part-time jobs, two full-time jobs, as well as a primary part-time job and a secondary full-time job. The weekly unemployment claims data is being skewed by the situation that when people lose a job, even a full-time job, and still have a second job, they do not qualify for unemployment benefits.

(Nov 8)  There has been conjecture that the drop in the participation rate since 2007 is based upon the FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True) that Baby Boomers are retiring. The data does not show that trend."Older Workers Working Longer (Oct)"  shows that the employment levels are down for those 35-49 years of age, that the workforce population is down for those from 40-54 years of age, and that unemployment is up for those 50 years and older. Sixty is the new forty.

(Nov 9) The workforce is growing slower than it has since 2011. We are adding workers at a slower pace through October than we did during 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Worker addition slows down as we head into a recession. Does the threat of a recession cause employers to hire fewer workers or does the hiring of fewer workers lead to a recession? "Has the Worker Fade Begun"details how when the annual Non-Seasonally Adjusted  Current Employment Statistics data grows at a rate less than 2% that we see the start of a recession.

(Nov 11) There are millions of people asking "what the heck just happened?"  How did Hillary Lose the election. Simply, it was hers to lose. The column "9.9 Million Reasons Why Hillary Lost the Election" places the blame of the 9,886,857 fewer Democrats that voted during 2016 as compared to the election of 2008. It also explains that Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson swung the vote in ten states, including Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

(Nov 12) Week in ReviewThis week was a rough week for all of us. There were those pulling for the first woman President of the United States of America. There were those pulling for the Improbable Republican candidate, the candidate who could not be taken down by the "Never Trump" crowd, the media, or the Democrats. There were those pulling for the underdog former Republican Governor, now Libertarian Candidate for President. The end result was that at 3  AM Wednesday Morning a new President had been elected  even with multiple states being undecided. This Saturday, Michigan is still counting. A week ago Friday we received the Jobs report data. This column worked hard to generate 6 days of columns before the Tuesday election. The media made comments regarding the report and not regarding the data. This column dug into the data and found some interesting things.

(Nov 15) The first bot of news reported in this column was the October monthly retail sales (MARTS) report. This was supposed to be a strong report. It was supposed to report an increase of 1% from the prior month and 5% from the prior year. It was supposed to be a good report. Forbes reported that it revealed better than expected increase in sales (0.8% vs 0.6%) and that it spelled trouble for Brick and Mortar stores as non-store retail continues its decades long surge. CNBC also reported a better than expected surge. This column had a different take.  "October Retail Sales Unremarkable" found that retail sales were slowing and that Six Sectors had lower sales than October of last year. Where CNBC and Forbes were basing their reporting on the seasonally adjusted data reported in the MARTS report this column focused on the real data, non-seasonally adjusted, and the changes from October to October. Retail sales were down from last October's levels for Furniture sales, Electronics and Appliance Sales, Clothing, General Merchandise, Hobby and Gasoline sales. The same year growth is at 2.95% (January through October) not 5%. Who have the fake news?

(Nov 16) Last week was a busy week. "Nobody" covers the weekly unemployment claims report. This column used to run a forecast column and a results column. Last week was a busy week crunching data prior to the election and after the election. The weekly unemployment claims report data had to wait until this week. The "Nov 10 : Unemployment Claims Rising" article detailed how the data has been manipulated. There is now first-time claims streak that started during March of 2015. The data is not as good as it is being reported. More fake news.

(Nov 18) The rest of the world thought that the monthly New Construction data was huge. It wasn't. While everyone else was touting a spike in starts of 25% this column was digging into the data. "Constrained October New Construction Data" reported that Starts and Completions are slower than what we saw during 1983, 1992, and 2007. While the data is doing better than it was during 2008-2015, this is like saying that a patient who came out of a coma is doing better than while he was in the coma. We were in a housing coma. Single family starts were slower during October than we saw during 1982-2007. Who is reporting fake news now?

(Nov 19) Week in review  There was not much real data this week. The headlines we received this week were that "Fake News" that mislead the American Voters in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the elections. There was news that the election was stolen from Hillary Clinton because she won the popular vote (based primarily on the vote in California and Washington DC.) We supposedly received great news on Retail sales, the unemployment claims numbers, and New Housing Starts. What is fake? What is real?

(Nov 21) This week this column covered this past week's unemployment claims data as well as the week prior. The unemployment claims number used to be the lead story during the 8:30 time slot on the day that it was released. Now it is an after thought. It's Thursday? "Nov 17 Unemployment Claims Craziness" examined some of the FACTs being promoted and scoffed at comparing data from different seasons with entirely different seasonal factors. Did we have 187,000SA FTU pr 245,000? Throw a dart at the board and report a Goldilocks number of 235,000. Eight-nine consecutive weeks of sub-300,000 SA FTU claims? Please.The streak didn't started when they said it did. It has ended some many times I have lost track. You could read the four-part column on the origin of the FACT/myth.It was supposed to have started during March of 2015. It restarted the Third week of January this year. It ended, again, this week.

(Nov 23) Existing home sales and new home sales are substantial components of a healthy economy. The housing recession preceded the Gross Domestic Product recession and the Jobs Recession, which preceded the Retail Sales recession. This week the October existing home sales data was inauspicious.We saw a plateau in the October units sold. We saw that the average sales price of units sold during October 2016 barely eclipsed what we saw during October 2005. An eleven year recovery of sales prices is very inauspicious.  We might fall short of 5.2 million units sold this year and may fall short of last year's volume.Very inauspicious, indeed.

(Nov 24) The new home construction data that was released during the prior week were shockingly bad to some observers. "How Bad Were the Oct New Home Sales" examined the sales data. The problem is that without strong  starts and completion data the sales data will not be strong. There may be some lag between completion and sale. That is to be expected. There were fewer new homes sold during October of 2016 than during either October 1983 or October 1992. Unless we see a surge in end of the year new construction sales and closing we will fall short of 600,000 units sold, could fall short of 575,000 units sold, may fall short of 550,000 units sold.  We will do better than 2015.We most certainly will see fewer new home sales for the calendar year 2016 than we saw during 1983 and 1992.

(Nov 25) This week the Unemployment Claims Report that is normally released on Thursday was released on Wednesday in advance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. "The "Unemployment Claims Streak Ended, Again."The SA FTU number could have been reported between 244,000 and 305,000 workers. If the seasonal factors from October 2012, 2013 or 2014 would have been used the SA FTU would have been reported right around 290,000. This legacy streak is all that matters to some people. The FACT of 90 consecutive weeks of sub-300,000 SA FTU claims is just that, a false assertion.

(Nov 26) Week in Review  This was a slow week for data. The main story was the weak housing data that we received this week. Last week it was weak new construction data. This week it was weak new home sales data and weak existing home sales data.  When all of the Black Friday sales data are tallied we will probably fine that we had record levels of "non-store" retail sales and weakening in-store sales. We also saw the true fragility of the FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True) that we have had 90 consecutive weeks of under 3000,000 seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims. Last year during the 3rd week of November it should have ended. This year it should have ended, too. The chose seasonal factors that skewed the data to their advantage, not ours. 

(Nov 29) The November Jobs Report is going to be interesting. WE normally see non-seasonally adjusted full-time job losses and part-time job gains. We have seen full-time job losses recently. This jobs report data period was mostly prior to the election. "Will November Job Creation Continue to Slow?" projected a drop in the unemployment numbers and a drop in participation.  

(Nov 30) The information that has been ignored almost everywhere else is that a large share of this recovery has been based on the situation where people are working multiple jobs in order to secure a livlihood.  We have seen consistently record high monthly levels of people working two part-time jobs. we often see October as the peak month for multiple job holders. December can be the peak month.  The column "Will we see and increase in Multiple Job Holders" examined the trends. The general trend is upward. We have 4.3 million people working a full-time job as their primary job and a part-time job as their secondary job. We also have over 2.1 million people working two part-time jobs. Will October or December be the peak month for multiple job holders this year? How about November?

This month was a long, emotional month. The November Jobs Report will give us some indication where we were heading prior to the election. Stay tuned to this website for more data analysis. Thank you for a record readership month  at