Reclaiming Common Sense

This week was epitomized by two topics, again: Stock Market Volatility and the Wuhan Virus.  The ADP Payroll data was bad. The Weekly Unemployment Claims data was the worst recorded or reported. The March "Jobs Report" recorded and reported steep declines in workers and wages - although they were not in agreement.

(March 30) This week began like most "Jobs Report Weeks." The data for the March ADP Private Sector Payroll Report should have been collected prior to the March 21st Spike in unemployment claims. "March ADP Forecast: BC Strength" was looking for growth in all sectors month to month and March t March, Before the Coronavirus (BC.)

(March 30) A second article was published on Monday. There were many items to cover this month. the monthly Multiple Job Worker/Men and Women article was delayed until the final days of the month. The article "Record Feb. for Men, Women, Multiple Job Workers" looked at the Current Population Survey data from February, BC, and found it to be an excellent month.

(March 31) The month ended with the forecast for the March Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report. This data should have been collected BC. "March Jobs Report Forecast: Marching Higher" examined the Current Population Survey Jobs and Unemployment data. It also examined the Current Employment Statistics Worker and Wages data. This March all of the data appeared to be in sync. Workers were expected to rise in all sectors except Mining and Logging. Participation was expected to rise as unemployment fell. A huge surge in full-time jobs was expected. There was a slight uptick in the weekly claims data for March 14th. The big spike happened March 21st, well after the data was collected for the March Jobs Report.   The March ADP Private Sector Payroll Report and the Non-Farm Payroll Worker Levels were expected to be dismissed as "BC."

(April 1) The ADP Report for March was supposed to be BC, before coronavirus.  "March ADP Report BC: Weakness" reported on the "weak" report, which ended up being better than either the CPS jobs and unemployment data and better than the CES worker and wages data.

(April 2)  Last week the first-time claims spiked to a record level. This week they doubled that historic level, seasonally adjusted. The differences between the seasonally adjusted data and non-seasonally adjusted data for the two weeks differ by 1.5 million claims.  "Weekly Unemployment Claims (CE) Coronavirus Era Spike" details what happened with regard to the first-time claims, the continuing claims and the Insured unemployment rate.

(April 3) The seasonally adjusted Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data dropped by over 700,00 during March. The Seasonally Adjusted Current Population Survey (CPS) jobs data dropped by nearly 3 million jobs. These surveys are different in what they measure and in their sample sizes. They are both different from the ADP data. "March Jobs Report (BC) Beyond Crazy" details the changes in the unemployment level, the unemployment rate, the participation rate, the changes in jobs and the changes in workers.

This Saturday, April 4th,  the Wuhan Virus data stands at:

  • 1,134,418 Cases Worldwide 82,543 China, 278,458 USA 119.827Italy
  • China 57 cases /Million USA 851/M Italy 1981/M
  • China Deaths 3,330(2/M) USA Deaths 7159 (22/M) Italy 14,681 (243/M)
  • Total Deaths 60,115
  • Recovered 233,689
  • Net Cases 840,614

Last Saturday the Number were  607,965 Cases, 28,125 Deaths, 132,688 Recoveries

The Wuhan Virus is no longer  contained to China and Europe. It is being found in more countries than I care to count.

The Common Flu in the united states is another story, per the CDC, the 3/28/2020 Update (the most recent) is 39,000,000 cases, 400,000 hospitalizations, and 24,000 deaths. (The prior data was 38,000,000 cases, 390,000 hospitalizations, and 23,000 deaths as of March 14, 2020.)

We need to take the flu seriously. We also have to learn something from this outbreak.  How we can manage the common flu without shutting down the entire economy.

It's the Economy.