Reclaiming Common Sense

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Jobs and Unemployment Mattered this Past March

Sometimes the article that is written on the first of the month is the most read article of the month and sometimes the most popular article is something written at the end of the month. The Most read article of the month was written on the final day of the month. The fourth most popular article was written on the first day of the month. Four of the five week in review articles made the top ten for the month of march. There were jobs forecast articles, plural, that made the top ten, relating to the ADP Payroll Report and the Monthly Employment Situation Report.

(March 31) The most read article of the month was the Forecast Article for the March Jobs Report. The title of the article "Will March Jobs Report Be in Like a Lion" was a bit tongue in cheek. March is one of the strongest job hiring months. May  and July are stronger. Unemployment should fall. Participation should surge. This is no small feat as unemployed workers are participants and are a negative influence to the participation rate when there are fewer unemployed workers. January would have been one of the best Januaries ever if it weren't for the massive revisions to the 2015, 2016, and 2017 data. The February data was the best for the month since 1979. How much will the CES (Current Employment Statistics) data grow between February and March? How low will the seasonal factors skew the data? Will the data from February be revised higher, thereby "stealing" workers from March? How many non-seasonally adjusted CPS (Current Population Survey) full-time jobs will be added? Will we also see the addition of part-time jobs? How much should we expect the unemployment level and the unemployment rate to fall? Multiple job workers could set a March record for total multiple job workers, people working a full-time job and a part-time job, and possibly for those working two part-time jobs. Participation should improve, again.

(March 29) Thursday was Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, and was the day that the weekly unemployment claims data and report were released. The problem with the headline seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims number is that the seasonal factors used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted data to the seasonally adjusted data is that they change week to week, month to month, season to season and year to year. "March 24 First-time Claims Lower than September 29, 1973" details how the unemployment claims data, NSA, should continue to fall through September or October of this year, and how the continuing claims data could have been reported under 1.7 million. A value under 2 million is considered good.

(March 5) This was jobs week. The first insight to the economy was the ADP Payroll report that was released on Wednesday. Tuesday this column produced the article " February ADP Should be Fabulous." The annual growth rate has been very strong since February. All of the data was pointing for more of the same.

(March 31) The final week in review for March covered the "final" GDP report for the  fourth quarter of 2017, a pre-unemployment report article, the weekly unemployment article, and the forecast for the March Employment Situation report.

(March 2) The first week of April we will receive the February Jobs Report. Part of the purpose of this column is to demystify the economic data that is released every week and every month of the year. Part of the purpose of this column is to manage expectations for the upcoming reports, whether or not it is the unemployment claims data, the monthly housing data, or the monthly jobs report data. The article "February Jobs Forecast: More Strength" details how we should have  recorded a huge spike in full-time jobs and part-time jobs and a sizable drop in unemployed workers. We should have also recorded a surge in non-seasonally adjusted workers.

(March 3) The March 3 week in review caught your attention. The topics covered were the Employment Situation in Florida, the importing headwinds, weekly unemployment, and GDP, among other topics.

(March 1) Thursday is still unemployment claims data day. The data is seasonally adjusted because some weeks and some months had traditionally high levels of unemployment and some months have the traditionally lowest unemployment claims for the month. January is peak unemployment and October is "valley" unemployment. This week the lowest ever non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims data was recorded for the fourth week of February. It wasn't quite reported that way, due to seasonal factors. What happens when you have "September Level of First-time unemployment claims data during February?"

(March 22) Thursday we received another fantastic,  remarkable weekly unemployment claims report. This was best than any report for this week of the year since 1971. The "Weekly Unemployment Claims Data were WEAKLY reported."

(March 10) This week the Week in Review covered the ADP forecast article, the ADP report, a CES Sector Forecast, the weekly unemployment claims report, and the Jobs Report article for February.

(February 26) One of the top ten read articles this past March was an article written at the end of February. "2017 was a good year for Florida Workers" examined the monthly Regional And State Employment Unemployment (RSEU) Statistics for Florida and what impacts the Hurricane season had on workers in Florida. The unemployment rate in Florida was under 4% during the month of December. The RSEU data trails the Employment Statistics data by two weeks.

It is great that the readers of this article appreciate the week in review articles that are published on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in what happened while other news outlets are covering "Palace Intrigue," the week in review will help you, too. It is also good to see that the ADP and Employment Situation Report Forecast articles are being found to be popular - it takes time, energy, and effort to cull through all the data to forecast what may happen.  Jobs and unemployment Matter to you. They matter to me, too.

It's the economy.