Reclaiming Common Sense

(Oct. 1) This week the ADP report was released on Wednesday and the "Jobs" Report was released on Friday. It is hard to appreciate the data without examining potential results in advance of the report. "Potentially Strong September ADP" was expecting September to September Growth in all sectors except Information Technology. The thought was that based upon month to month changes, September to September changes, and current year changes that we could add 225,000 to 235,000 workers to the seasonally adjusted payroll numbers, with the potential for a blow-out number over 250,000 workers and possibly 300,000 workers.

(Oct. 2) The forecast article for the Monthly Employment Situation Report, or "Jobs" report, "September Jobs Forecast, Down is Up," projected a non-seasonally adjusted worker loss, seasonally adjusted worker gains between 230,000 and 280,000 workers, a serious seasonal spike in part-time jobs, a slight drop in full-time jobs, and unemployment under 6 million,

(Oct. 3) The September ADP Payroll people caught many people off guard. "September ADP: Strikingly Good" detailed how there was a strong upward spike in annual payroll growth, another solid spike in August to September Growth, and how only Information Technology saw a seasonally adjusted drop in payroll.

(Oct. 4)
We have had 17 weeks this year where the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims data was recorded under 200,000. This has not happened since 1967. The Insured Unemployment rate, the percentage of the covered insured receiving continuing benefits, dropped to 0.98%, the lowest rate on record. "Wowza Weekly Unemployment Claims Data" goes into the details.

(Oct. 5) Friday's Jobs Report was misunderstood by most in the media. There were considerable revisions to the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data, especially with regard to the Government Sector. We saw a massive spike in the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Current Population Survey (CPS) part-time job ranks. We saw a massive spike in government workers. Unemployment did fall by over 600,000 workers, well below the 6 million level. "September Jobs Soar" examined the CES and CPS data and touched on other articles to follow this article.

(Oct. 6) Life got in the way this Friday. It has become customary to publish the Jobs Report article on the Friday it is released. A new custom is an immediate article on the wage data. This release of "September Wages and Workers: Off to the Races" was delayed until the early hours of Saturday morning. Wages soared for all sectors September to September. Workers were up for all sectors except Information Technology.The spikes in non-seasonally wages ranged from 2.32% to 9.96%. You might not have heard that elsewhere.

(Oct. 6)  While the "rest of the country" was obsessing over the Kavanaugh Confirmation in the Senate we received the ADP Payroll data, the historic weekly unemployment claims data, and the seriously good September "Jobs" report. "October 6 Week in Review: Jobs" covered the details.

(Oct. 8) The September jobs report was unloved because the upward revisions to the August Current Employment Statistics (CES) data reduced the September jobs creation data. The second data set used to create the jobs report is the Current Population Survey (CPS) data on full-time jobs, part-time jobs, unemployed workers, and workforce participation. "Five Presidents at 20 Months: Yowza" detailed the huge surge of non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) full-time jobs under President Trump, and the significant drop in unemployed workers. Only former President Clinton managed to do this after 20 months in office.

(Oct. 8) The "War on Women" was a talking point of the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections. There are interesting tidbits to be found in the CPS data as the jobs data pertains to men and women. "Women Recorded September Job Surge" details the continued expansion of the female workforce. Women still work more part-time jobs than men, men still work more full-time jobs than women, and women are still participating at a lower rate than men. Women added over 900,000 non-seasonally adjusted jobs this month.

(Oct. 8) There has been some discussion of elevated number multiple job workers due to a New York Congressional candidate. The multiple job holder data is a subsection of the CPS full-time and part-time data set. "Multiple Job Workers Up during September" details how the multiple job holder data should climb through the end of the year. It may peak during October, November, or December, most likely November. We were near the September record level of multiple part-time job workers that was set during 2016.

(Oct. 10) The CPS data also contains information regard the workforce population by age. There is an economic urban legend that we have a record low unemployment rate for teenage workers. This is a legend because the pundits are ignoring the near record low participation rate for teens. "September's Aging Workforce" details how we have record levels of workers 55-59 years of age, 60-64 years of age, 65-69 years of age, 70-74 years of age, and for those over the age of 75. We also have an elevated level of unemployed workers over the age of 60 years of age.

(Oct. 11) The weekly first-time unemployment claims, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA, )was under 200,000 for the eighteenth time this year. The continuing claims data fell under 1.4 million claims for the first time since 1973. The Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) was under 1.00%, again. "Weekly Claims Remain Historically Low" details how this is incredibly good when you factor in the change in the size of the workforce population since the inception of the program during 1967.

(Oct. 11) There have been ample discussions this year of rising inflation and rising wages. Are wages keeping up with inflation or are they not? "September CPI: Inflation Easing" details the current conditions. We are still seeing commodity deflation and service inflation. Shelter inflation is still over 3.0%.

(Oct. 12)
Next week we will receive information on new home construction and the monthly retail sales data.  We are in a Retail Renaissance. "September Sales Surge Projected" examines the current month data, the current year data, and the rolling year data. It examines the seasonally adjusted data and the non-seasonally adjusted data. We will see non-seasonally adjusted sales drop month to month and rise dramatically September to September. The seasonally adjusted data should be reported higher month to month and September to September, with some question regarding Sporting Goods/Hobby sales and Electronics/Appliances sales.  We are on-track for our first $6T retail sales year.

(Oct. 13) This week we had to watch Hurricane Michael come on-shore and watch the whiplash ups and downs of the stock market. This week this column wrote articles on the September Jobs Report, the September Consumer Price Index (CPI,) weekly unemployment, and a forecast for next week's MARTS Retail Report.  The article "October 13 Week in Review: Data Mining" goes into the details.

(Oct. 15) This week was a big week for data other than the Jobs report data. This column produces forecast articles as well as results articles. "September Real Estate Forecast: More Good News" examined the data for new construction, new home sales, and existing home sales. It was projected that we would receive good data for new construction, mostly good data for existing home sales, with question marks regarding inventory and units sold, and new home sales.

(Oct. 15) A second forecast article was published last week for this week's MARTS retail report. We received the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey data for September. We saw month to month, non-seasonally adjusted reductions in sales, as projected. We also saw September to September increases, as expected. "September Retail Report: Growth and Revisions" details how we are still on track for our best retail sales year.

(Oct. 16) A report that is receiving so attention these days is the "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS.)" This report covers the month of August. Remember hat we received the Jobs Report for the Month of September two weeks ago.  Some in the media are discussing how the Job Openings data has more job openings than we have unemployed workers. The problem is that the JOLTS data resembles the Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data, while the Unemployment data is found in the Current Populations Survey (CPS) Jobs data.  Three different surveys - measuring three different things. You might as well compare a red apple with a pomegranate and a red Anjou pear. "August JOLTS: Some Surprises" digs into the data and details how three of the four sectors with the highest quits and the most jobs openings are three of the four lowest weekly wage sectors.

(Oct. 17) Wednesday we received the New Construction Data for September. This news was muted. Much like with the September MARTS data, the "rest of the world" was buying the seasonally adjusted new home starts, new units under construction, and new home completions data. "September Surge in New Construction" details how we saw the best September data for new construction starts, units under construction, and completions since 2008.

(Oct. 18) Did you know that they still produce a weekly unemployment claims report? Did you know that  we have had 19 weeks where the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims data has been recorded under 200,000 claims, tying the record set during 1967? Did you know that we have fewer continuing claims, as a percentage of the insured unemployment population, than we have ever had? This is no Trick. This is a "Weekly Unemployment Claims Treat."

(Oct. 19) The September Existing Home Sales data was mostly a treat with a minor trick. We saw the average sales price rise from last September's record average sales price for the month of September. We saw the September inventory drop from the August level, as expected, and increase from last year's record low for the month of September. We still have fewer than 2 million existing homes for sale. Unfortunately, we also saw a drop in units sold. We saw the fewest existing homes sold during the month of September since September of 2012.

(Oct. 20) This week, contrary to what you may have read or heard elsewhere, was a pretty good for economic data. We received seriously good retail data, strengthening new construction data, historic unemployment claims data, and data recording a record existing home average sales price for the month of September. This is all covered in "October 20 Week in Review: Forging Ahead."

(Oct. 23) There is a considerable amount of data that is produced with the monthly employment situation report, or jobs report. So far this column has addressed the worker levels, the wage levels, the jobs and unemployment levels, the performance of President Trump as compared to former presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush and Clinton after just 20 months in office., among other items. There has been a FACT promoted (False Assertions Considered to be True) that we have record low teen unemployment. This has been covered by this column. This month another FACT was produced where people were discussing record low unemployment rates for African American workers and Hispanic workers. Participation matters. The article "Separate, Unequal, Recovery, Expansion" goes into the details.

(Oct, 24) Last week we received the new home construction data and the existing home sales data. This week we received the new home sales data. "New Home Sales Stall during September" explains that even though we did not set a record average sales price for September, and even though September sales missed expectations, the total sales year to data exceed what were sold during January through September of 2008 through 2017.

(Oct. 25) Did you know that they still publish weekly unemployment claims reports? We received "Awesome, Unloved Unemployment Claims Data" this week. The non-seasonally adjusted first-time claims data was recorded under 200,000 claims for the twentieth (20th) time this year. The most ever was nineteen (19) during 1967. Continuing claims remain below 1.4 million. The last time we were this low was during 1973. We have fewer than 1% of the covered insured receiving continuing unemployment benefits. This has never happened before September of this year. SPREAD THE NEWS..

(Oct. 26) This column often writes articles regarding the Affordable Care Act and Medicare/Medicaid. Earlier this month, around the time of the Kavanaugh Hearings and Confirmation, the Kaiser Foundation released a study on Health care Costs. There was some eye-opening data in the report. The percentage of workers covered by employer provided health care has dropped from 69% (2010) to 57% (2018.) The Average monthly expenditure for a single insured is between $538-$596 per month. The average family plan came in between $1550-$1694 per month. "ObamaScare: Kaiser Report on Health Care" gives some more insight on the report.

(Oct. 26) We have had 36 consecutive months of same quarter GDP growth. This is good news. Disposable Personal Income is up 4.1% from last quarter and up 2.9% from the same quarter last year. This is good news because inflation is currently 2.28%. Personal Consumption Expenditures are up 4.0% quarter to quarter and 3.0% from third quarter of last year. Gross private domestic Investments are up 12.0% quarter to quarter and 6.3% from the third quarter of last year. "Third Quarter GDP: GPDI, Growth in Private Domestic Investments" goes into the details. This is some of the best data recorded since 2015, even after all of the revisions to the GDP data that was performed last quarter.

(Oct. 27) The economic data had some tricks and some treats this week. We saw New Home Sales dip for the month and yet remain above the level where they were during September 2017. We received some awesome unemployment claims data, as we set a record for the most weeks with first-time claims recorded under 200,000 with this past week being  the twentieth (20th) time that we were below 200,000 claims. Then there was the solid GDP data. There was also some analysis on the September Jobs Report and the Kaiser Foundation report on Health Insurance.

(Oct. 29) The week started with the October ADP Forecast Article. The forecast was for at least seven of ten sectors to add seasonally adjusted jobs from the September level and all ten private sector groups to add workers from October to October. It was thought that the data would show continued expansion, that at least 200,000 jobs would be created, and that between 230,000 and 250,000 jobs would be added, even after revisions to the prior months data, plural.

(Oct. 30) Tuesday the "October Jobs Report Forecast" article was released. The article covered the Current Employment Statistics data for workers, the Current Population Survey data for unemployed workers and jobs, as well as expectations for multiple job workers, and growth by sector. The data supported strong growth in full-time jobs, the possible growth of part-time jobs, a drop in unemployment, and a potential surge in multiple job holders.

(Oct. 31) Halloween Day provided us with some good news. "October Trick or Treat? Treat" detailed how all sectors grew from month to month, all sectors grew from October to October, and how 227,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers were added to the economy during October.

(Oct. 31) Part of the news this week has been the Illegal Immigrant Caravan making its way from Central America up through Mexico. The article "Illegal Immigrant Invasion: A Solution" examined the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Fourteenth Amendment at looked at the responsibilities of Congress, the President, and the States.