Reclaiming Common Sense

(Nov. 1) We received a strong Jobs Report this Friday, in case you didn't hear about it, or the stock upward push in the stock markets, plural, after the report was released. "October Jobs Report Treat: Strong Worker Data" explains how the October data was "held back" a little because the September and August data were revised upward from their Advance and preliminary levels. Full-time jobs edged higher, as did part-time jobs. We had the most combined FT and PT jobs ever for a given month. More than the normal peak of July. Participation rose to the highest October level since 2012.

(Nov. 2)  A September Surplus, Meh. Better than Expect GDP. Whatever. Historic Weekly unemployment claims data. Okay. A record level of Jobs in the United States for the month of October and for any month. Huh? That's not what you are hearing in the news? You are hearing about Impeachment, China, Beto, and Hillary? Go figure. "Nov. 2 Week in Review: Jobs and More Jobs."

(Nov. 4) The October Jobs report had excellent data regarding workers and wages. Workers are up. Wages are Up.   "October Workers and Wages Reveal Strong Economy" details how workers grew month to  month and October to October. When wages and workers increase on an annual basis then the economy can expand on an annual basis.

(Nov. 5) This column, or its predecessor, have been comparing the current President with prior Presidents since "Four Presidents at 81 Months." The Current Population Survey painted a different picture than what was being portrayed in the press. There was a meme that said that former President created the most jobs since former President Clinton. Recovered, maybe, created, no. "Five Presidents at 33 Months: Participation Up" continues the discussion and points to the truth that former President Clinton and President Trump are the only Presidents since Reagan that managed to cut unemployment and boost full-time jobs during their first 33 months in office.

(Nov. 5) The government produced the September Jobs Report last week and the August JOLTS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report this week. The common thinking is that the Job Openings data is good because it is greater than the current unemployment level. It is dangerous, at best, to compare data from different data sets. "September JOLTS: Record Quits, Hires" explains how we are taking 3 steps forward (Hires) and 2 steps back (Quits.)

(Nov. 7) The jobs report, specifically the Current Population Survey (CPS) data, contains information that is often ignored. Men lost more full-time jobs  than women during the recession. Women have added new jobs at a faster rate than men. We are at near October records for total multiple jobs, dual part-time jobs and people working a primary full-time jobs and secondary part-time jobs. "Record Oct. Job Levels for Men, Women" explored the data.

(Nov. 7)  We have set a record for the number of weeks with non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims under 200,000 claims for a single year (23.) We tied a record for the lowest record Insured Unemployment rate (IUR) at 0.95%.This week we recorded Another Record. The IUR was under 1.00% for the seventh consecutive week.

(Nov. 8) There was talk about "end times" for the expansion when the 2 year bond rate and the 10 year bond rate inverted. The problem is that it has to invert for months, not moments. Soon after this column produced an article on the 2-10 inversion talking heads started discussing the 3 month 10 year inversion (360-120.) The data for the 360-120 is a sample size of three previous inversions. This week the article "The 3 month and 10 Year bond Yields Inverted. So What" questioned if the inversion was long enough or if it even mattered considering that the 2-10 did not invert for one month.

(Nov. 9) This was a slow week for data. Next week is looking to bee slow, as well. The main things that came out, as far as this column is considered, was the weekly claims data. This means that there was some time to dig into the Jobs Report and the claims that the 3 month 19 year bind inversion foretells of an impending recession. "Nov. 9 Week in Review: Nothing to See Here," with tongue firmly planted in cheek, went over the above articles.

(Nov. 12) This column often produces forecast article for certain government reports, including the monthly Employment Situation Report, the New home Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales data, as well as the monthly Retail Report. The article "Expecting All Retail Sectors to Report Growth" used  the month to month and October to October data to project the possible growth in non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted data.

(Nov. 13) This week we received information regarding the inflation rate for the US economy. Shelter Inflation over 3%. Check. Energy Deflation. Check. Health Insurance Inflation Ignored. Check.  Inflation of all items less than inflation minus the "volatile" Food and Energy components. Say what? "Tepid Oct. Inflation, Energy Deflation" goes into the details.

(Nov. 14) The seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time unemployment (FTU) used to garner headlines as it hit the 60 week mark, then the seventy, then the 80 week mark, and the 90 week mark. They did not report the 100th week. They did not report the 150th week mark or the 200th week mark. "First-time Unemployment Claims Streak Approaching 250 weeks" reported on the strong first-time claims data, the strong continuing claims data, and the record setting Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) data.

(Nov. 15) Almost any news report regarding the economy rehashes the statement tat 70% of the US Economy is attributed to the US Consumer. You would think that the monthly report on retail sales would create a stir. Record non-seasonally adjusted October sales. Meh. Record October Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales. Meh. Meh.  We saw month to month and October to October growth in both the NSA and the SA data. All four component rose. "October MARTS Surprise" details how the seasonally adjusted total marts retail sales were greater during October 2019 than they were during either November or December 2018. We had Christmas during October. Ten straight months with the SA Total Marts sales over $500B (the first time ever.) Forget About It.

(Nov. 16) Impeachment Inquiry or Inflation. First-time unemployment claims or Foreign Interference? Last Second Penalty in a football game or more than 240 weeks of record low unemployment? "Nov. 16 Week in Review: Unreported Records" reported the records.

(Nov. 18) This week we received two important pieces of the real estate jigsaw puzzle. We received the New Home Construction data and the Existing Home Sales data. This column produces a regular Real Estate Forecast Article that covers this data and the New Home sales data, data that will be released next week "Oct. Real Estate Forecast: Expansion Continues" projected that Starts and Completions would improve compared to last October. It also projected the possibility for strong October Existing Home Sales, dropping existing inventory, and the potential for a record October Average Sales Price.

(Nov. 19) The October New Construction data was remarkably good. "Oct. New Construction Building Momentum" details how we had our best October Starts, Units under Construction, and Completions data for the month of October since 2007. The Starts data was even better than October 2007. Oh, and Builder Sentiment for November was the highest since November 2004.

(Nov. 21)The Seasonally Adjusted Weekly Unemployment Claims Streak stretched to 245 consecutive weeks. The Weekly Claims Report was Ignored by Most. The SA FTU data recorded and reported a drop this week. Ho-Hum. Seasonally Adjusted Continuing claims remained under 2.0 million for the 135th straight week. Nada in the media. The Insured Unemployment Rate was the lowest for the second week of November ever at just 1.01%. Zip.

(Nov. 21) Someone might think that he most October Existing Home sales since October 2006 would garner major headlines. Someone might think that a new October Average Sales Price Record for Existing Homes would be promoted all day long."Strong October Existing Home Sales" looked at his data and the inventory data.

(Nov. 23) Impeachment Inquiry or Home Builder Sentiment. . First-time unemployment claims Foreign Interference of Consumer Confidence? Politically Correct Uno or Strong Existing Home Sales Data? Rumors or Remarkable New Home Construction data? Biden Baby or First-time Claims data? "Nov. 23 Week in Review: Confidence Soaring" relayed the above information.

(Nov. 26) The New Home Sales data was so good that it was virtually ignored. The September data was revised so much higher from its advance value that is made the October data look "weak" even though we had the most October New Home Sales since October 2007. "New Home Sales Up 32.56% from last October " explains that sales were up from last October's 43,000 to 57,000 units this October.

(Nov. 27)  This was the 246th consecutive week with Seasonally Adjusted First-time Unemployment Claims reported under 300,000 claims. Crickets. This was the 136th consecutive Week with the seasonally adjusted continuing claims under 2 million claims. Crickets. "Weekly Unemployment claims: Up is Down" explains the situation.

(Nov. 27) Last month we received the "advance" Third Quarter GDP data for 2019. It was a "disappointment" because it came in at an annualized rate of 1.9%. This month we received the "preliminary GDP."  "Third Quarter GDP revised up to 2.1%" examines the changes in the Personal Consumption Expenditures, the Gross Private Domestic Investments, the changes in imports and exports, and the changes in Government Consumption Expenditures. The third quarter data was revised enough to pull up the same quarter GDP, too.

(Nov. 30) This week was a short week for receiving government data, The weekly unemployment data that is normally released on Thursday was released on Wednesday with the GDP data. We received strong new construction data last week and even stronger new home sales data this week. This was covered in the article "Nov. 30 Week in Review: Thankfully Good Data."