Reclaiming Common Sense

Seriously Good Jobs Numbers, Plural, Possible Next Week. No Joking.

My daughter is fond of April Fool's Day jokes. I am not. The biggest joke that is ongoing is the reliance upon seasonally adjusted data by the majority of the people in the media. Whereas other people are reporting on the reports, this column reports on the data.This week was a short week after a three day weekend for my family.

(March 28) March madness is more than a basketball term. "Mad" can mean "seriously good." This month the jobs data should be positively "mad." There are two surveys that are used to create the monthly jobs report. The first survey is the Current Population Survey, or CPS. This survey measure the number of workers in the workforce population, the number of full-time and part-time jobs created (or lost,) and the number of unemployed workers. It is from this data that the unemployment rate and the participation rate are calculated. The second survey is the Current Employment Statistics Survey, or CES data. It is from this data that the "official jobs number" is created. The Column "Mad March Forecast" was written to manage expectations and to place people on notice that hey may attempt to undermine President Trump's successful job creation activities.

(March 29) We need workers to work full-time jobs in order to buy homes. We need people who are buying homes to buy refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, televisions, paint, carpeting, and landscaping items. We need retail stores to hire salespeople, not just cashiers. We need people with existing homes to want to buy new homes and place their existing homes on the market to alleviate an existing home shortage. We need new homes to be built so construction workers will return to the sites. We need jobs to generate revenue so that we can see tax rates drop and disposable income rise.  The level of growth that we have seen during the past eight years has not been enough to stimulate the economy. What rate of expansion is needed?

(March 30)  The final revisions to the fourth quarter 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) number was released with very little fanfare. The Annualized GDP rate, based on once quarter of growth, was revised up from 1.9% to 2.1%. The Real GDP, same quarter, year to year, growth rate was revised up from 1.9% to 2.0% .Personal Consumption Expenditures, Disposable Personal Income, and the impacts of Imports and Exports on GDP were  remarkable. Here were the remarks.

(March 31) The weekly report was one of the most anticipated numbers of the week until we dropped to seventeen year lows. The report records the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time Unemployment (FTU) claims number and the NSA Continuing Claims (CC) Number. The seasonally adjusted (SA) version of the FTU number is the "headline" number. Last week the seasonal factors used to convert the NSA data to the SA data were revised from the first week of January 2012 through the rest of this year. There wasn't an historic Under 300,000 SA FTU claims streak before the revisions, there isn't one after the revisions. The final unemployment numbers for the month of March were good,  up was down.

Next week we will receive the March Jobs Report. We should see strong, mad, growth.How will the data be skewed? How much growth will be recorded? How many Multiple Job Workers will we have? Will men add full-time jobs? Will older people people start retiring? Which sectors will show improvement? Stay tuned.

It's the economy.