Reclaiming Common Sense

The Economy is Still Growing - Maybe more than any time during the past decade

This week was a short week due to New Year's Eve falling on Monday and New Year's Day on Tuesday. This meant that the ADP report was released on New Year's Eve Day  and the Jobs Report was released on Friday. This meant that the ADP forecast article was released on Wednesday, and the Jobs Forecast Article was released on Thursday, along with an article on the weekly unemployment claims data.

The only article written the week before the New Year was the weekly unemployment article. There was supposed to be a new home sales data article released but the agency that publishes that report, the Census Bureau,  was not updating it's website. Neither is the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which means that we may not receive the Advance Fourth Quarter GDP report later this month.

(Dec. 31) The year ended with the publication of the ADP forecast article "December ADP Report Should Be Jolly" examined the seasonally adjusted data and projected strong month to month and December to December Growth.

(Jan. 2) After a shorter break than Congress took this column published the article "Decidedly Good Jobs Forecast" article. This article projected the possibility for a strong jobs report, at lest 230,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers added during December. It also gave a warning to watch the revisions and watch the seasonal factors used in the report.

(Jan. 3) The first piece of economic data released on Thursday was the ADP Payroll Report for December. This report gives some insight as to what to expect from the Private Sector Current Employment statistics. It excludes the government payroll data. Government jobs are included n the "headline" non-farm payroll data. "Final ADP Report for 2018" dug into the data and found that we had our best year since 2015 and that, if the massive revisions of the 2016 and 2017 data had not happened with the release of the February ADP report, this would have been considerably better than 2015 and comparable to 2014.

(Jan. 3)  The advance weekly unemployment claims data for the final week of December was released fifteen minutes after the ADP report was released. "Final Unemployment Claims Report of 2018: Remarkable" reviewed the first-time unemployment claims data for the fifth week of December, the continuing unemployment claims data and insured unemployment rate data for the fourth week of December, and found that we have 277,000 fewer continuing unemployment claims than we had during the fourth week of 2017. This bodes well for the first week of January when we normally hit our annual high.

(Jan. 4)  To say that the December Jobs report caught others flatfooted would be an understatement. "The Final Jobs Report of 2018: Stellar" was the first article written regarding the December Jobs Report detailed just how good it was. There were 301,000 seasonally adjusted (SA) Private Sector workers added during December. If the 2016 seasonal factor was used then that number could have been 355,000. If there had been no revisions to the data for October and November this number could have approached 400,000. Participation continues to improve.

(Jan. 4) The "jobs  report" includes a cornucopia of data that takes days, or manpower, to disseminate. "Strong Wage and Worker Growth" was the second article regarding the December Jobs and Workers data. What happens when the number of workers grows by over 2%, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA,) wages, NSA, grow by over 3%, and hours worked grow by 3%? Total Income rose by over 7% compared to December 2017. What happens when income improves over 7%? The economy should keep growing.

This was a very strong weak for economic data. It was a very weak week for anything getting done in Washington D.C.

It's the economy.