Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

(July 3) The first jobs report that is released each month is the ADP Payroll report. The data that is released with the report is all seasonally adjusted data. This makes the forecast easier and harder at the same time. "ADP Payroll Forecast: Jumping Higher for All ?" examined the trends in the sector data and found that all private sectors should have added to their payroll during the month of June. The question mark was information and technology. The month to month data projected a range of 178,000 to 253,000 workers could have been added during June, while the June to June growth rates projected a range of 273,000 to 380,000 jobs being added. The overlap was between 253,000 and 273,000 jobs. The question was how the revisions from the prior month would impact the current month.

(July 3) The June Employment Report, or Jobs Report, forecast was a bit more detailed. There are two data sets that are used to create the Jobs Report: The Current Population Survey (CPS) data and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data.  The CES data, private sector and non-farm payroll worker data, provides information on sectors and workers. The CPS data provides information on unemployed workers, full-time jobs, part-time jobs, the workforce population, and from that we receive information on the participation rate and the unemployment rate. "June Jobs Report: How High Can It Go?" examined the month to month trends and June to June Trends and found that the non-seasonally adjusted data for CES workers could jump by 1 million workers,  that the seasonal factors would bring that value down to 240,000 to 280,000 workers joining the workforce, seasonally adjusted (SA.)  that the full-time jobs level, NSA, could soar, the PT jobs could plummet, and the unemployment level, and unemployment rate, would almost certainly spike. The spike in FT jobs and Unemployment would most likely cause the participation rate to jump higher, 

(July 5) The ADP report was released just prior to the weekly unemployment claims report. "June ADP: All Sectors Added Workers Except IT" detailed that the monthly growth rate and the weekly growth rate were stronger than June 2017 and stronger than May 2018, and that upward revisions to the prior month data reduced the headline ADP number for June. 

​(July 5) Unemployment edged higher during the recent report survey period. It is still near the lowest levels ever recorded for the current week of the year. Remember that we have over 140 million covered insured now while during the early 1970s we had fewer than 53 million covered insured. the "Weekly Unemployment Claims Data is Still Solidly Low."

(July 6) Friday was "Jobs in America Friday." The article "June Jobs Report Jarringly Good" detail how we saw over 1 million NSA CES private sector workers join the economy, how the seasonal factor reduced the number to 202,000 SA CES workers, and how the data for May was revised up 33,000 workers. This means that the headline number could have been  recorded over 300,000. Full-time jobs did soar, part-time jobs did drop significantly, and unemployment exploded. Participation was astounding. The non-seasonally adjusted data did record a drop in Government workers and Education/Health Services workers, as projected. All sectors reported SA CES worker growth.


(July 7)Week in Review


​(July 9) What is the real story regarding wages and workers? "June Wages, Worker, Earnings Up" detail how when more people are working, and more people are earning more money per week, that the total earnings grows . It's not rocket science: Wages x workers = earnings. 

(July 9)
A meme started a series. A meme that hit the Internet during 2015 touting former President Obama as the best Jobs President since President Clinton started the"Four Presidents at ___ Months" series. The current installment "Five Presidents at 17 months" reports how President Trump is in a footrace with President Clinton in terms of total jobs created while he is leading in the number of full-time jobs created.

(July 10) 
A curious report that has received considerable attention is the monthly JOLTS (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey) report. This report measures Job Openings, hiring, quits, and separations. Unfortunately this survey is for May while the Jobs report that we received this month is for June. It is also unfortunate that many in the media are comparing job openings with the unemployment level. Two different surveys. Two different sample sizes. Two different numbers. It is like comparing a tomato with an orange. Add vodka and you have a party.  "JOLTing Jobs Opening Data" details how the highest quits and job opening levels are in the lowest wage sectors. Coincidence?

(July 11) 
There was a "War on Women" during the 2012 election, and to a lesser extent during the 2016 election. Ironically, women lost the fewer jobs during the Great Recession and recovered faster than men recovered. The recent surge in construction jobs, mining jobs, manufacturing jobs, and professional services jobs has helped boost wages. It also appears to help men add to their level of full-time and part-time jobs. "Men and Women working more full-time jobs" looked at the "Jobs Iceberg/Jobs Mountain" data and found that men and women have distinct differences. Men work more full-time jobs than women. Women work more part-time jobs than men. Men work more dual FT jobs than women. Women work more dual PT jobs than men. Men participate at a higher rate than women even though women make up more of the workforce population.

(July 11)
 It was projected in the June Jobs Forecast article that we should have seen a huge surge in FT jobs, a probable drop in PT jobs, and a spike in unemployment. It was thought that the spike in FT jobs, and the drop in PT jobs,  would lead to a drop in FT PT dual job workers and a drop in PT PT dual job workers. It turns out that Summer is Summer and people are working more dual jobs this month than last month. "Multiple Job Workers Edged Higher this June."

(July 12)
 The Jobs Openings data is different from the Unemployment (U-3) data which is different from the weekly Continuing Claims Data. We normally see a spike in non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time claims during the first week of July and the First week of January after companies go through end of quarter lay-offs. "Unemployment Claims: Up is Down" details the importance of seasonal factors and comparing the current week data with the proper data from the proper week of prior years. There was a NSA spike in first-time claims (FTU) this week  that may translate into a bump in continuing claims (CC) next week. Total claims, FTU and CC will continue to head lower through the end of September and first week of October 

(July 12) 
Oy. This is becoming a broken record. "June CPI: Commodity Deflation, Again" digs into the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. We are experiencing Medical Services Inflation, services inflation, Shelter Inflation, Energy Inflation, and Commodity deflation. The question is who gets health insurance as cheap as the CPI calculations assume?

(July 13) 
There are many ways to examine the Jobs Report data, as this week in review displays. This recession and recovery has hit every sector and every age group. Younger workers (16-19 and 20-24 years of age) have had a problem finding work during the recovery. This month was different. "June Jobs Lacking for Teens" refers more to the substantial drop in participation of teens in the workforce, as compared with 2005 and 2005, more than it has to do with the huge, massive, gigantic spike in teens finding jobs, non-seasonally adjusted Current Population Survey (CPS) jobs. As for the "Unemployment/Jobs Opening"  situation, I wish people would talk about the "negative unemployment rate" for older workers.

(July 13) 
Next week we will receive the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) data. June does not have a holiday to boost sales. It is wedged between Memorial Day and Independence Day. We are in a Retail Renaissance. We are on-track for our first $6 trillion retail sales year. Up is down and down is up. Even though it is expected that Sporting Goods/Hobby sales will be lower than last June, and it is more than likely that Electronics/Appliance sales will also be less than last June, It is expected that those two sectors will see a huge spike in sales month to month. The same is true in reverse. While every sector, except gasoline, is expected to fall month to month, non-seasonally adjusted, every sector, including gasoline, is expected to experience June to June sales growth. The total growth for the prior twelve months, the rolling year data, is expected to approach 5% this month. "June MARTS: Down is Up" is more data than talk.


(July 14)Week in Review


​(July 16) The week started with an article regarding the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) Retail data. The MARTS forecast article projected monthly drops in sales for all categories except gasoline and Sporting Goods/Hobby/Books (SGHB.) It was though that we might see June to June increases in all sectors except SGHB and Electronics/Appliances (EA.) "June Retail Data: Another Record Month" detailed how the SGHB and EA had been recently revised, how all sectors saw a drop in sales from May to June (There wasn't a holiday other than Father's Day during June,)  that ALL sectors saw improvement from June 2017, and how we had our sixth consecutive monthly record for sale. We are in a Retail Renaissance.  This means that people must be buying a ton of Russian Dressing  and Vodka at the grocery stores and at restaurants.

(July 17) 
Tuesday this column published an article  "June Real Estate Forecast: Building Upward Momentum." It was projected that the recent momentum we have had should continue to push new home starts, units under construction, completions, and sales to higher levels. We are still recovering from the Housing Recession. It was projected that the existing home sales could jump much higher, the final day of June is traditionally the busiest closing day of the year, even as existing home inventory could remain at an all-time low for the current month. You might say that it was anticipated that builders might be "Rushing" to get things built so they could accommodate the "Rush" to buy homes this year. 

(July 17) 
The June Jobs Report was released the first Friday of July. This column write numerous articles regarding the data found in the report. WE set a record level of weekly wages for the month of June in ALL sectors. "June Record Weekly Wages Ignored" revealed that while we did not have the highest average hourly wage ever, we did have the highest average weekly wage for the month of June and every sector set June average weekly wage records. It must be a Russian Conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in office through 2024.

(July 18)
 The June New Construction data was released this Thursday. If there were any comment made, they were made after they "rushed" to judgement. The starts data was slightly weaker this month than expected. The interesting thing is that even with a weak June they number of starts is up to the highest point in June since 2008. Under Construction data improved from last June. Completions were solid this month and weaker than last year, year to date. The "New Construction Data Continues to Improve."

(July 19)
 The data that is summarily ignored on a weekly unemployment claims data, first-time and continuing claims. The non-seasonally adjusted first time claims for the second week of July since  July 13, 1968. The Continuing Claims data trails the first-time claims data by one week. The non-seasonally adjusted (SA) continuing claims (CC) data was the lowest for the first week of July 1988 and was lower than the NSA CC value for July 3, 1971. A follower on Twitter said that I should say that the Russians are forcing Trump to "Putin" people back to work. I decided to write about "TDS: Trump De-unemployment Syndrome."


(July 21) Week in Review


​July 23) The week started with the Existing Home Sales data. "June Existing Home Inventory Up, Prices Up" details that while units sold dropped from the June 2017 levels, inventory is "returning to normal" and a record average sales price was set for the month of June. Units sold may have missed expectations  because of the overall lack of inventory during the past year. This has been discussed in this column for years.

(July 25) "How High Can Second Quarter GDP Soar"
examined the data for GPDI, PCE, Government Expenditures, and Imports/Exports and projected the possibility of an annualized GDP growth rate of 4.0% to 4.5%. The last time we had comparable growth we were coming off a contraction during the first quarter of 2014.

(July 25)
 New home sales act as an economic driver. New home sales create jobs in construction, business services, and retail sales as well as provide a boost to monthly retail sales. We sold more units this June than June 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, all the way through June 2017. We just didn't sell as many units as expected. "June New Home Sales Mixed Messages" explains that we didn't set a monthly record for the average sales price, and that this is okay. The article also explains that we are on track to sell more homes this year than any year since 2007.

(July 26)  First-time claims for the third week of July set a 51 year record low.
That should get your attention. It didn't get the attention of the media.

(July 27) 
We have received seriously strong data during the first two quarters of the year. This economic activity can be measured via the Gross Domestic Product (GDP.) Even after all the GDP data going back to 1929 was revised, even after the GDP data for 2016 was revised higher and the GDP data was revised lower than originally reported as their "final" values, even though the first quarter GDP data for 2018 was revised higher, we received "Giddy GDP Data." Who was President during 2016? Who was President during 2017? 


(July 28) Week in Review


(July 30) This week started where most months end with forecast article for the ADP Payroll Report and the government Employment Situation Report. The article "July ADP Forecast: Up times Ten" projected a strong ADP report with all sectors adding to their payrolls July to July, and the possibility that INformation Technology could contract month to month. 


(July 31) The second jobs report forecast article "July Jobs Report Forecast: Fireworks" found similar data with potential weakness in the non-seasonally adjusted data for Education and Health Services and the Government Sector. Full-time jobs were projected to bump higher, part-time jobs drop a little, unemployment could rise, and that participation would exceed last July's participation rate. The NSA worker data was also projected to rise by roughly 265,000 private sector workers.