Reclaiming Common Sense

(Nov. 1)Remarkable Unemployment Claims data was ignored once again. This was a record setting 21st week this year with non-seasonally adjusted first time unemployment claims under 200,000, it was a week where we saw continuing claims under 1.4 million claims, again, and another week where the covered insured unemployment rate remained below 1.00%.

(Nov. 2) There was a huge October Jobs Report released this Friday. Private Sector worker numbers surged. The headline number of 246,000 more private sector workers did not include the upward revisions to the August and September data by 13,000 workers. "October Spooktacular Jobs Report" dug into the details and found that there was an increase in the non-seasonally adjusted participation rate, compared to October 2017, and a drop in the U-3 unemployment rate. There was also a jump in multiple job workers, back over the 8 million worker level.

(Nov. 2) Once the first article was released on the October Jobs Report a second article was published regarding the Worker numbers and wage numbers, by sector. "Workers and Wages Improved during October" detailed how every sector except Leisure and Hospitality grew in non-seasonally adjusted worker month to month, and every sector grew in non-seasonally adjusted workers, except Information Technology, October to October. Seasonally adjusted every sector added workers month to month and only IT lost workers year to year. Every sector received non-seasonally adjusted weekly wage increases as compared to October of 2017.

(Nov. 3) The Week in review, "November 3 Week in Review: Jobs Spooktacular"  covered the final days of October and the first days of November, including articles on Illegal Immigration and the ADP payroll forecast and the Employment Situation "Jobs Report" forecast articles.

(Nov. 3) This column published it's week in review article for the Week ending November 3rd before continuing to review the jobs and worker data. The first article published after the week in review article was "Five Presidents at 21 Months." President Trump has added more full-time jobs than any of his predecessors, former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, or Obama. You wouldn't know it by the media coverage.

(Nov. 3) We had a "Jobs Iceberg" during the Great Recession of 2008-2010. Full-time jobs were lost, the bottom of the iceberg, and part-time jobs were added to the economy, the top of the iceberg. President Obama left office with fewer full-time jobs recorded during January 2017 than we had during July 2007. His "expansion" was actually a protracted, and incomplete, recovery.  Men lost more full-time jobs than women during the recession. Women recovered faster than men. The article "Men and Women Winning during October" details how the Jobs Iceberg is now a Jobs Mountain.

(Nov. 5) The Jobs Report includes data on workers by age in the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data. There has been talk of a record low teen unemployment rate. This is a False Assertion Considered to be True, or a FACT. They are ignoring historically low teenage employment. Another FACT is that retiring Baby Boomers are pulling down the participation rate. We have more workers over the age of 55 working now than we had during 2007. We also have more unemployed workers over the age of 55 than we had during 2007. There is even the discussion that we have "negative unemployment" because we have fewer unemployed workers than job openings. This FACT would be addressed in another article. "October's Aging Population" dug into the data.

(Nov. 5) Former President Obama made a push for Democrat Candidates during the final week of the elections. He said that we should compare President Trump's first two years in office with Obama's final two years in office. Unfortunately, President Trump has only be in office 21 months so we had to look at the data from February 2017 through October 2018 with February 2015 through October 2016. The Article "President Trump versus Obama at 21 Months" analyzed the non-seasonally adjusted Current Population Survey (CPS) data and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Data and found that even after the upward revisions to the 2016 and 2017 CES data President Trump has added more workers than Obama, more full-time jobs than Obama, and cut unemployment more than Obama. Former President Obama did win the part-time job creation category.

(Nov. 6)
Do we really have "Negative Unemployment?" Last week we received the October Jobs Report. This week we received the September JOLTS (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey) data. The JOLTS survey is similar to the CES data. The Unemployment data is from the CPS data. The weekly unemployment claims data is another survey. Same "family," different individuals. This column has also said that they are all fruits with one being an apple, the other a pomegranate, the other a red Anjou pear. "September JOLTS: Leisurely data" explains how Job Openings, Quits, and Hires were at record levels for Leisure and Hospitality Workers, as well as for Mining and Logging Workers. Three of the sectors with the lowest wages have the highest levels of quits, separations, job openings, and hires. Coincidence? No.

(Nov. 8) The weekly unemployment claims data report has been ignored since some time during 2016. "Nobody" cared if we were approaching 100 weeks of seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time Unemployment (FTU) claims data under 300,000. This is another FACT. The streak did not begin when they say it did, and the streak ended multiple times, most recently during November of 2016. The people who normally cover this data have missed out on the record number of weeks with non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) FTU claims under 200,000 for any given year, since 1967, that was achieved during the past few weeks, plural. They have missed the record low Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) dropping below 1.00% for the first time ever. They have missed the NSA continuing claims level dropping below 1.4 million for the first time since 1973 when we had fewer than 54 million covered insured. This week we had 142.513 million covered insured. "Weekly Unemployment Claims Show Strength" explains how the NSA FTU data, the NSA CC data, and the NSA IUR data all are seriously strong, and unloved.

(Nov 10) The article "Nov. 10 Week in Review: Election Fatigue" covered all of the articles written in advance of the Mid-term elections and after the mid-term elections. The articles that normally take a week to research and write were published before the elections.

(Nov. 12) The week started with the monthly forecast article for the monthly MARTS retail report. We have been on pace for our first $6 trillion retail sales year. Which sectors would show improvement? Which sectors might falter month to month and still report gains October to October? "October Retail Outlook: Outstanding" detailed how Sporting Goods, Hobbies, and Books would almost certainly see decline month to month and October to October. All sectors should have seen gains. It was thought that at least one sector would show a decline and that it wasn't clear which one it would be.

(Nov. 13) Next week we will receive the data on new construction, existing home sales, and new home sales. This week the October Real Estate forecast painted a rosy picture. "October Real Estate Forecast: Banging Ahead" saw the potential for growth October to October in Starts, Units under Construction, Completions, New home inventory, new home sales, and average sales price. It wan mos thought that existing home sales would drop month to month and increase from October to October. Inventory has been "at historic lows," for any given month, starting December 2015. We hit our "all-time low," going back to 1999, during December 2017.

(Nov. 14) We received the October Jobs Report two weeks ago. This column has produced a number of article regarding the report, and two of those articles addressed the multiple job holder data in total and for men and women. The article "Multiple Job Workers up during October" noted the record level of October workers working two part-time jobs as well as the potential for the final two months of the year.

(Nov. 14) There were substantive revisions to the CPI-U Urban Wage Worker data for inflation. These revisions went back to at least 1979. This column has addressed the inflation data back to 1979 within prior articles. These revisions reinforced the two periods of CPI-U deflation during 2009 and 2015. "Unassuming October CPI Inflation Data" reported on the "ever-present" commodity deflation, service inflation, she

(Nov. 15) The rest of the world actively ignores the weekly unemployment claims report. "Another Great Week of Unemployment Data" examined the first-time claims data, the continuing claims data, and the Insured Unemployment Rate and found that not even historically low data can resist the annual trend for rising claims data at the end of one year through the first week of the following year. We are still considerably better of than we were during 2016 and 2017.

(Nov. 16) The monthly and annual retail trade survey (MARTS) data was released at the same time as the weekly claims data. The review of the data found month to month gains in all sectors except sporting goods, hobbies, book and music sales. The concern over potential weakness in a motor vehicle and  parts sales was unwarranted. The article "Outstanding October Retail Sales Data" revealed that we achieved $6 trillion in combined retail sales during the past twelve months for the first time.

(Nov. 17) The article "Nov. 17 Week in Review: Record Retail" details how the week started with a forecast for the October Retail Report and a forecast for the New Construction data, existing home sales data, and New Home sales data. This week we received outstanding retail data, seriously strong weekly unemployment claims data, and stable inflation data.

(Nov.  19) There was a push from the Democrats to have "talking Points" for your crazy "Republican Uncle" during Thanksgiving 2014 and 2015. Those talking pints disappeared during 2016 as Democrats were licking their wounds and during 2017 as they were resisting the duly elected President.The article "Talking Turkey and Trump" dug into the economic data that we have received since President Trump took office. Former President Obama wanted us to compare the first two years under President Trump with his final two years in office. The problem is that President Trump has only been in office 21 months.

(Nov. 20) The Great Recession was first and foremost a housing recession, then a jobs recession, then a Retail Sales Recession, then a Revenue Recession. We recovered from the Retail Recession, also known as the Retail Ice Age, first. It took until February 2017 to recover and maintain all of the full-time jobs lost between July 2007 and January 2010. The Housing Recovery, especially the new construction recovery, is on-going. The article "October New Construction Data: Goldilocks" detailed how, through October of this year, we have more units started, more units under construction, and more units completed than we had through October 2008, 2009, 2010, all the way through October 2017. This was a slightly slower October than projected. We have had a better year to date so an "off" month is to be expected at some time during the year.

(Nov. 21) Wednesday was Unemployment Report Thursday this week because Thanksgiving, as always, fell on Thursday and the markets, and Government, were closed. The first indicator that there may be a problem in the economy is the "first-time unemployment claims" data. This year we set a record with 21 weeks with the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims under 200,000 claims. We set a record with the first time ever having the Insured Unemployment Rate, IUR, under 1.00%. This year we had the fewest continuing claims since 1973 when we had 1.351 million continuing claims. This week we had a drop in the first-time claims. Was this an  "Unemployment Claims Surprise?"

(Nov. 21) This review article started by saying that the Great Recession was multiple recessions rolled into one Great Recession, including a Housing Recession. Some analysts are lamenting the "sluggish" existing home market. These analysts do not comprehend that we needed the level of full-time job workers to recover and expand in order for the housing market to recover and expand. The analysts are forgetting that we need to get out of the "foreclosure blackout" period and the "bankruptcy blackout period" for people who lost their ability to buy homes to qualify for mortgages. If you listened to these "experts" you would have thought that we received data from 2010 instead of 2018. "October Existing Home Sales: Solid" detailed how we set an October Average Sales Price record, how the October inventory, while low, was better than it was during October 2017, and how the units sold this year are  better than October 2007 through October 2016. Where were these "authorities" during the precipitous drops in existing home sales during June 2010 to June 2011 and October 2013 through August 2014?

(Nov. 24) The article "November 24 Week in Review" was a short review because it was a short week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. The weekly unemployment claims report was released on Wednesday, as well as the Existing Home Sales data. Tuesday we received the October New Construction data. This data should have been better received than it was.

(Nov. 26) The week started slowly. The final week of the month, economically, ended in a whimper with the first revision to the third quarter GDP and the release of the unloved weekly unemployment claims report. This meant that there was a time to create an article that did not deal with a pressing report. "MSM MAGA Recession Mania Misplaced" details why we are not heading into a recession right now. A recession is two consecutive quarters of contracting economic growth. The Great Recession was a housing recession, a jobs recession, and a retail recession.  Retail Sales are growing, and on the way to the first $6 trillion retail sales year. New home construction is ahead of the pace set during 2017. New home sales are also ahead of the pace set during 2017. We have more full-time jobs now than we have ever had during the month of October. Unemployment is down. Weekly claims are historically low as calculated as the Insured Unemployment Rate.

(Nov. 28) Wednesday was a "two-fer" with the release of the first revision to the  Gross Domestic Product report for the third quarter and the release of the New Home Sales Report" Gross Private Domestic Investments (GDPI) was revised higher from it advance value. "Third Quarter GDP Revised, Unchanged" details the changes and that the economy is still growing at an annualized rate of 3.5% The Same quarter GDP remains at 3.0% and has been rising for nine consecutive quarters. We "need" to see six quarters of declining same quarter GDP and two consecutive quarters of same quarter contraction to be in a recession. We are still rising.

(Nov. 28) The New Home sales data was a bit of a disappoint, and yet still in line with expectations. The number of units sold fell from the level achieved last October. This was the headline elsewhere. "October New Home Sales: Okay" details how there was a new average home sales price record set for the month of October, how the number of units sold is still better during the month of October than we were during October 2008-2017, and how inventory levels are finally at a "normal" level. It is impossible to sell new homes that are not completed and for sale.

(Nov. 29) Thursdays are still the day that we receive the weekly unemployment claims report. This week down was up. We saw the first-time claims data recorded lower than last week and seasonally adjusted higher than last week. "Unloved Unemployment Claims Data: Down is Up" examines the levels of first-time unemployment claims, continuing claims, and the insured unemployment rate data. We have 272,000 fewer continuing claims this year than the same week of last year. Will this continue, and for how long?

(Nov. 30) The final week of the month normally means that the next week will be the week that we receive the ADP payroll report and the Employment Situation Report, or Jobs report. This column has long published articles projecting the potential results of the two reports.  There are two data sets used to create the jobs report, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data and the Current Population Survey jobs and unemployment data. "November Jobs Report Forecast: More Growth" Projects strong Non-Seasonally Adjusted CES private sector worker growth, based on month to month trends and rolling year growth, as well as the current year trend. It also, as usual, explains to the need to watch the seasonal factors used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted data to the seasonally adjusted data. It also details how we need to watch the revisions to the two prior months of data. There are also other components addressed, such as the expectations for sector growth month to month and year to year, the changes expected in the multiple job holder data, and the economic urban legends that are being pushed right now.