Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense



Every now and again an article that is written during the waning days of a month rockets to the most read column of the month.Sometimes a column written months, or years, earlier that is referenced in an article during the current month get a second shot at glory. Both situations happened this month. The week in reviews remain popular. Jobs, Housing, and unemployment still are your main interests.


(Sep. 20) One of the largest investments a person will make is their home, whether it is a single family home, a duplex, or a condominium. We have seen seriously low levels of existing home inventory since the end of last year. "August Existing Homes: On-track for 5.6 million" details how the Realtors Association is forecasting fewer sales than we had during 2016 and how this column is forecasting a higher value than 2016 and possibly more homes sold than were sold during 2002 - even with historically low inventory. It also details how the Average Sales Price set a record for the month of August.


(Sept. 28)  The most popular column of the month was regarding the least covered report of the month: The Weekly Unemployment Claims Report. We are not seeing a huge spike in unemployment claims as a result of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, or Hurricane Maria. The authors of the report have been stating that we are seeing the impacts of Hurricane Harvey and Irma - does that mean that the recent drops in non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims and continuing claims (CC) mean that hurricanes are "beneficial?" "Strong September Weekly Unemployment Claims" details how the NSA FTU numbers have crept up from 211,000 to 212,000 to 215,000 claims during the past three weeks. Under 300,000 Seasonally Adjusted Claims a week is considered good. This column and its predecessors have detailed that the FACTs (False Assertions Considered to be true) include the reporting of the SA FTU data.  The Continuing Claims Data are equally as strong. We have fewer continuing claims data for the third week of September than we had during the third week of September 1971.


(Sep. 19) The readers of this column also appreciate data on real estate, new and existing homes. (Sep. 19) The first housing report was the new construction data. We had the best new home starts data for August since 2008. We had the best August data for new homes under construction since August 2008. We also had the best completions data since August 2008. "Strengthening August New Construction Data" goes onto more detail.


(Sep. 18) Sometimes it is important to understand what can be expected in various reports to understand how good or bad the data really is. "August Real Estate Forecast for Strength" examined the data for New Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales" and saw the potential for good news across the board.New construction should have showed improvement over last August. New Home Sales were looking to continue their winning ways. Existing home sales are nearly back to pre-recession levels, even with historic low levels of inventory.


(Sep. 23) The first week in review column that made the top ten this month was the "September 23 Week in Review: Winning" that focused on Housing and unemployment.  The three main reports were the new construction data, the existing home sales data and the weekly unemployment claims data.


(Sep. 14) The Monthly Jobs Report, also called the Employment Situation Report, includes "Super Sector Data."We have seen some of these sectors surge in workers since the recession and some sectors lag. The article "August Sector Data up over 2016 except One Sector" details the month to month and year to year changes.Four sectors have not recovered. Four other Sectors are surging.


(Sept. 26) The Housing Forecast article made the top ten. The new Construction report article made the top ten. The existing home sales report was the most read column this month. That leaves the New Home Sales Report the only real estate article that hasn't made the top ten, yet. This month we set a record for the August New Home Average Sales Price and Median Sales Price. We saw the units sold just about match last year's level. This August was best than August 2008, August 2009, August 2010, through August 2015. Next month the data will probably be revised higher.


(Sep. 9) The Week in Review Column published September 9th was the second week in review column to make the top ten. This review covered the follow-up articles to the Jobs Report Article: The Five Presidents at Seven Months article, the Multiple Job Holder Article, the "War on (Wo)Men Article, as well as the Top Ten Articles of August article and the Weekly unemployment article that showed a slight bump as a result of Hurricane Harvey.


(Aug 31) The ninth most popular article this September was one that was written on the final day of August. The Wednesday before the release of the Employment Situation Report, the "jobs report," we receive the Private Sector Payroll report from the payroll company ADP. "Best August ADP Report Since 2002" details how we saw strong growth report by ADP. The ADP report and the "Jobs Report" are often in sync for direction and out of sync for magnitude.


(Nov. 25, 2014) This month the Federal Debt exceeded 20 trillion dollars for the first time. $20,000,000,000,000. That is 20 million million dollars. It is amazing that we did not exceed $20 trillion dollars before September when you consider that the debt was just under $19.9T when President Trump Office. The article from 2014 "Federal Debt: Mortgaging Our Future" equated the then $17.9 trillion dollar debt to a $180,000 mortgage on a $200,000 home. It would have cost us $117 billion a month, for 360 consecutive months, to pay off our $18 trillion debt if we started paying it off during December 2014. This was the most read article during all of 2015 and remains the article with the most views ever published on this site or its sister site.


Today we awoke to horrific news of the Las Vegas Slaughter of more than 50 people by a lone gunman. We will see endless coverage of this story. Bad news "sells." We had some good news this past month. If only we had wall-to-wall coverage of good news as we do bad news.