Reclaiming Common Sense

Last week it was "all Kavanaugh, all the time." This week we had to watch Hurricane Michael come on-shore and watch the whiplash ups and downs of the stock market. This week this column wrote articles on the September Jobs Report, the September Consumer Price Index (CPI,) weekly unemployment, and a forecast for next week's MARTS Retail Report.

(Oct. 8) The September jobs report was unloved because the upward revisions to the August Current Employment Statistics (CES) data reduced the September jobs creation data. The second data set used to create the jobs report is the Current Population Survey (CPS) data on full-time jobs, part-time jobs, unemployed workers, and workforce participation. "Five Presidents at 20 Months: Yowza" detailed the huge surge of non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) full-time jobs under President Trump, and the significant drop in unemployed workers. Only former President Clinton managed to do this after 20 months in office.

(Oct. 8) The "War on Women" was a talking point of the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections. There are interesting tidbits to be found in the CPS data as the jobs data pertains to men and women. "Women Recorded September Job Surge" details the continued expansion of the female workforce. Women still work more part-time jobs than men, men still work more full-time jobs than women, and women are still participating at a lower rate than men. Women added over 900,000 non-seasonally adjusted jobs this month.

(Oct. 8) There has been some discussion of elevated number multiple job workers due to a New York Congressional candidate. The multiple job holder data is a subsection of the CPS full-time and part-time data set. "Multiple Job Workers Up during September" details how the multiple job holder data should climb through the end of the year. It may peak during October, November, or December, most likely November. We were near the September record level of multiple part-time job workers that was set during 2016.

(Oct. 10) The CPS data also contains information regard the workforce population by age. There is an economic urban legend that we have a record low unemployment rate for teenage workers. This is a legend because the pundits are ignoring the near record low participation rate for teens. "September's Aging Workforce" details how we have record levels of workers 55-59 years of age, 60-64 years of age, 65-69 years of age, 70-74 years of age, and for those over the age of 75. We also have an elevated level of unemployed workers over the age of 60 years of age.

(Oct. 11) The weekly first-time unemployment claims, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA, )was under 200,000 for the eighteenth time this year. The continuing claims data fell under 1.4 million claims for the first time since 1973. The Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) was under 1.00%, again. "Weekly Claims remain Historically Low" details how this is incredibly good when you factor in the change in the size of the workforce population since the inception of the program during 1967.

(Oct. 11) There have been ample discussions this year of rising inflation and rising wages. Are wages keeping up with inflation or are they not? "September CPI: Inflation Easing" details the current conditions. We are still seeing commodity deflation and service inflation. Shelter inflation is still over 3.0%.

(Oct. 12) Next week we will receive information on new home construction and the monthly retail sales data.  We are in a Retail Renaissance. "September Sales Surge Projected" examines the current month data, the current year data, and the rolling year data. It examines the seasonally adjusted data and the non-seasonally adjusted data. We will see non-seasonally adjusted sales drop month to month and rise dramatically September to September. The seasonally adjusted data should be reported higher month to month and September to September, with some question regarding Sporting Goods/Hobby sales and Electronics/Appliances sales.  We are on-track for our first $6T retail sales year.

The economic data has been good this year. The economic data has been Russiagated, Gorsuched, Kavanaughed, and Michaeled. Bad news has been shouted from the mountaintops. Watch the data.

It's the economy.