Reclaiming Common Sense

Sometimes columns from previous months find their way into the top ten list for the current month's articles. This column spends a considerable amount of time and energy digging into the jobs numbers, the inflation numbers, the retail numbers, and reports relating to Medicare, Social Security, and other reports released during the course of the month. There is also a considerable amount of time organizing the week in review columns and compiling the Top Ten Column List. Jobs and Healthcare were the top topics this month.

(Oct. 24, 2016) Last Fall, right before the election and right before Halloween this column published the article "Obama(s)care:Rising Premiums, Deductibles, Responsibility" researched some of the data provided via the Kaiser Foundation and found that Employees in companies with fewer than 50 employees are losing coverage, and those who are covered are paying a larger share of their premiums, the deductibles are increasing, and their premiums are increasing. What happened to "If you like your Healthcare plan, you can keep it" and "bringing down healthcare costs?"

(March 3) This column "always" produces an article, or two, in advance of the monthly Jobs Report. This is done in order to judge just how good the data and the report will be/was for when the article on the release of the report is written. "How will the February Jobs Data Be Skewed"  looked at the seasonal factors that have been used to seasonally adjust the non-seasonally adjusted data and projected a potential seasonal factor for the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Private Sector data, as well as the components of the Current Population Survey (CPS) data. By the way, the February Jobs Report was Remarkable, and the data was skewed. They might be skewed again for the March Jobs Report.

(March 11) This makes my Saturday morning efforts worthwhile. Every Saturday I drink coffee, watch the national news, and create the week in review columns. All four Week in review columns for the month of March. The March 11 Week in Review  covered the ADP report and the Employment Situation report, as well as the weekly unemployment claims report.

(March 25) The March 25 Week in Review focused on the housing data and the unemployment claims report as well as the often overlooked "JOLTS" report.

(March 4)  The "March 4 Week in Review" was brief. Four columns were written: an update to the Medicare/Medicaid Crisis, The weekly unemployment claims report, the top ten column for February, and the "How will the data be skewed" column.

(March 16) Jobs are important to the economy. People with jobs can buy things. One of the important reports from March that received only a modicum of coverage was the February Retail sales (MARTS) report. "Retail Sales Wake-up This February" was titled to catch your attention. Six sectors had lower February 2017 sales than they had during February 2016. Five sectors are off to a slower start after the first two months of 2017 than the first two months of 2016. 

(March 18) This week in review column for March 18 covered the monthly jobs report in detail as it related to the multiple jobholder segment of the jobs market, the sector by sector job data, how the job market is impacting men and women, and how the recovery is differing by age group.

(March 22) People with full-time jobs, permanent jobs, and a good credit history, can by homes. New Homes. Existing Homes.  Home sales generate retail sales and various service needs.  The article "February Existing Home Sales: Inventory Shortage" details how the average sales price has been increasing and the number of units for sales are as low as they have been since 1999.

(March 17) A hidden story in the press is the elevated levels of people working two jobs, especially two part-time jobs. "People Working Two Part-time Jobs Jumps " looks at the millions of people working a full-time job and a part-time job, the millions of people working two part-time jobs, and the hundreds of thousands of people working two full-time jobs.  Nearly 8 million people are working two jobs, and  over 2 million people are working two part-time jobs.

(March 15) Some sectors of the economy have not returned to pre-recession levels of jobs. Depending upon the month it could be four or five sectors that have fewer non-seasonally adjusted jobs than they had during July 2007. The good news is that "Twelve Sectors Added Job during February." There are "only" thirteen sectors. That is outstanding.

(March 26) A report that gets varying degrees of attention is the ADP jobs report. Sometimes the number is higher than the Employee Situation Report Number. Sometimes it is on the low side. Does it matter? The ADP data is seasonally adjusted data. At least the official "Jobs Report" provides the seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted data. "ADP Number  was 298,000. Does it Matter" digs into the details.

The March 4 week in review was bumped out of the March Top Ten by the ADP report article, so I guess it did matter.

Thank you for a record month on this website. The rest of the March Columns can be found here.