Reclaiming Common Sense

The first week of most months is focused on the run-up to the monthly Employment Situation Report. The following week is normally spent digesting all of the data and updating regular series. The September Jobs Report data was confusing for some people because we added jobs, lost workers, saw a drop in unemployment and an increase in participation. This is the result of one report being based on two data sets. This week more time was spent on demystifying the report and also writing on the weekly unemployment claims data, the CPI data and the Monthly Retail Sales report.

(Oct. 9) The data jobs data needs to be placed into context. President Obama attempted to compare himself to his predecessors before his time in office was complete. This led to the "Four Presidents at __ Months" series. "Five Presidents at Eight Months: Trumponomics" details how President Trump has added more full-time jobs during his first eight months than Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush (43) or Obama. Unemployment is down. Participation is up.

(Oct. 9) One of the reasons why the data "does not make sense" to most observers is because they ignore the multiple jobholder data. "Multiple Job Holders Fall during September" details how multiple job holders have dropped from September 2016 to September 2017. The number of people working two part-time jobs, two full-time jobs, or a full-time job and a part-time job surged from August to September of this year.

(Oct. 10) Some sectors of the economy have not recovered from the recession. Some sectors may not recover, including the Information Technology Super Sector or the Manufacturing Super Sector. "September Government Workers Super Surge (Part 1)" examines the Super Sector data and reports that over one million government workers were added last month.

(Oct. 10) Did we really lose workers last month? The "official" seasonally adjusted private sector "jobs" number is the current employment statistics (CES) data. The non-farm payroll number, a number often reported and often confused with the private sector data, includes government workers. "September Government Workers Super Surge (Part 2)" details how the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Sector, the Health and Education Sector, and the Leisure and Hospitality Sector have surged since 1981 and how the seasonal factors have been manipulated to reduce those impacts on the worker number(s.)

(Oct. 11) There was a "War on Women" reported during the 2012 election. The real war was a war on the male workforce. Men lost over 10 million full-time jobs at the depth of the recession. Women lost 3.8 million full-time jobs. "Women Winning Recession Recovery War" details how women recovered faster than men, have added more full-time jobs than men, and how men still have more full-time jobs than women and women have more part-time jobs than men.

(Oct. 12) Another unemployment claims report was released this Thursday. The first-time unemployment claims data for the first week of October were lower than what we recorded for the first week of October 1970. The continuing claims data lags the first-time claims data by one week. The continuing claims data for the final (fifth) week of September was recorded lower than the final week of September 1970. We recorded "Phenomenal Weekly Unemployment Claims" data.

(Oct. 13) The first report released this Friday was the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. Inflation is increasing. The authors of the report dismiss it because they exclude the volatile food and energy segments and the inflation therein. The authors said last month that there was no impact from Hurricane Harvey on inflation. This month they said that there was no impact from Irma on inflation. Must be nice to ignore medical inflation, shelter inflation, and energy inflation.  "No Hurricane Inflation" breaks down the data.

(Oct. 13) The second report that was released on Friday was the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) data. We are on track for the best Retail sales year EVER. Yes, there was a drop from August to September, non-seasonally adjusted. That is called Summer ending. September of 2017 is up from September 2016 by over 4%. This is a streak that has been on-going since January. Personal Consumption Expenditure are a large portion of the Gross Domestic Product. "Retail Sales Continue 4% Growth Rate" asks whether or not a 3% final annual GDP rate is close at hand.

This week the media, at large, was focused on the Harvey Weinstein tragedy. This was a waste of time. It does not impact most Americans. The media spent a considerable amount of time on the "Stand for the Anthem" protest. Americans have made their decision by walking away from their televisions and by burning NFL merchandise. The media is paying attention to the Wildfires in California. WE need more information and more time spent on this topic. These fires are impacting the economy. How is Hurricane Harvey impacting the economy? First-time claims levels in Texas and Florida from last year at the same time. How are Harvey and Irma impacting sectors of the economy? That data will be released next Friday. The economy is soaring - Good News. The Las Vegas Shooting is Bad news - let's obsess about that.

It's the economy.