Reclaiming Common Sense

The week after the Monthly Employment Situation Report is normally a slow week for new data. This lag in data affords this column the opportunity to look back to the Jobs report and look forward to the MARTS monthly retail report and the upcoming new home construction, new home sales, and existing home sales potential

(May 7) One aspect of the monthly retail report that has received considerable attention lately is the average weekly wage. The problem is that the weekly wage data that is published in the monthly report is the seasonally adjusted average. There are ten sectors that have seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) weekly wages published. There are ten average weekly wages. "Record Weekly Wages this April" goes into the details of how three sectors have seen remarkable growth in workers and how those same sectors have three of the four lowest weekly wage averages.

(May 8) A regular article on this website is the "Five Presidents at __ months" article. This column originated when there was more than a year left in President Obama's term in office and he was being compared with President Clinton for job creation. "Five Presidents at 15 Months: Winning" compares President Trump with Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama at the same point in their Presidencies.

(May 8)  The jobs report is often based on the headline seasonally adjusted Current Employment Statistics (CES) "jobs" number. This jobs number is actually a worker number. The true "jobs" number is the Current Population Survey (CPS) number. The CES data tells us which sectors added workers during a given month. "All Sectors Added Workers This April" examines the ten super sectors in the private sector and the government sector NSA CES worker data.

(May 9) The fourth article that examined the April Jobs Report examined how men and women are doing in this economy, and how they were doing during the "Great Recovery." "Men and Women are Winning This Month" examined the CPS data and compared the full-time and part-time jobs level, as well as the participation rate and unemployment levels of men and women compared with the pre-recession peak of July 2007.

(May 9) Another piece of data that is available in the monthly employment situation report is the number of people working multiple jobs. We saw the number of multiple workers drop month to month and yet increase from April to April. "April Multiple Job Workers Up from April 2017" details how we have over 2 million people working two part-time jobs and how 4.2 million workers are working a primary full-time job and a secondary part-time job.

(May 10) The Unemployment claims data are so low, both first-time unemployment and continuing unemployment, that they are starting to receive some attention. "Seriously Low Unemployment Claims Data, Again" details the historically low level of first-time claims for the first week of May and the seriously low continuing claims level for the final week of April. How low can these measures fall? Will they receive headlines when we reach all-time lows?

(May 10)  Some important information on inflation was received this week. The April CPI data revealed more of the same. We are seeing Shelter Inflation, Service Inflation, and Commodity Deflation. The April Inflation was higher than April 2017. "April Inflation: Low by Historical Standards" shows how this month's inflation rate was lower than it was during April 2005, April 2006, April 2008, April 2010, and April 2011.

(May 11) Next week we will receive the April MARTS (Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey) Data. We are a consumption based economy. We had a record retail sales year during 2017. We had our best non-seasonally adjusted January retail month ever, the best February NSA retail month ever, and the best March retail month ever. We are not in a "Retail Ice Age."  "April Retail Renaissance Forecast" discusses how we could be heading to our first ever $6 trillion dollar retail sales year. 

(May 11) Next week we will start receiving real estate data from April. The April New Construction data will be released  May 16th with the new home sales data and the existing home sales data May 23rd. We had a housing recession that led to a jobs recession that led to a retail recession. The retail recession reinforced the housing recession and the jobs recession. We have recovered, as a whole from the retail recession. We have recovered, in part, from the jobs recession. Total jobs and total workers have increased from the July 2007 level, while some sectors are still lagging. We have not recovered form the new home recession. We have not recovered from the existing home recession. Units sold are still lower than they were during 2005 and 2006. New construction is even lower than it was during the 1980s and 1990s.  "April  Real Estate Forecast: Up" projects an increase in new home starts, new home units under construction, new home completions, and new home sales." Existing home sales is a "crapshoot" because we have historically low inventory.

There is a considerable amount of economic data that is released every week of the year. It appears that a considerable number of people in the media are bored with winning.

It's the economy.