Reclaiming Common Sense

Oct. 26 Week in Review (OTt. 1) The ADP report is released the Wednesday prior to the Friday Jobs Report. The ADP data is different from the Current Population Survey Jobs and Unemployment data and the Current Employment Statistics Workers (CES) and Wages data that are used to create the Jobs Report. The non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data projected a substantial decline in CES workers as Summer came to a close. The Seasonally Adjusted (SA) CES data indicated that all sectors except possibly Mining and Logging would add to their payrolls month to month and September to September. The "September Jobs Report Forecast: Looking Up, Unemployment Will Fall"  title was based on the CPS data. It was thought hat we could see over one million NSA Part-time jobs added to the economy, drop a half million full-time jobs, and see unemployment drop by 200,000 to 800,000 workers.

(Oct. 2) Wednesday brought the "long awaited" ADP Private Sector Payroll report. The ADP report does not include government payroll data. The ADP Payroll number came in weaker than projected. That is okay because last month the ADP number was stronger than expected and the CES non-farm-payroll number was weaker than expected. Even though nine out of ten sectors grew month to month and September to September the media was focused on the 135,000 seasonally adjusted payroll positions created.

(Oct. 3) The continuing unemployment claims number fell, again. The Insured unemployment rate was recorded under 1.00%, again. The number of non-seasonally adjusted first-time claims was recorded under 200,000 claims, again. "Twentieth Week with First-time Claims under 200,000" tells you what other outlets are ignoring.

(Oct. 4) Friday was Jobs Day. What a day it was. The original focus from the media was the relatively week SA CES Non-farm Payroll number of 136,000 workers added to the economy. This reconciles well with the ADP private sector data until you realize that there was a spike in Government Workers. It reconciles well until you realize that the August Private Sector and NFP numbers were revised higher by roughly 30,000 positions each, in effect "stealing" 30,000 jobs from the September level. The number of NSA Part-time jobs created this month exceeded 1.1 million. There were 738,000 fewer unemployed workers this month than during August. The more that people examined the data the story became the near all-time low unemployment rate for the month of September. People are finally addressing the differences between the CPS data and the CES data. The September Participation Rate was almost identical to the September 2013 participation rate when we had a 7.00% unemployment rate. This month the NSA U-3 unemployment rate is just 3.33%. Please read and share "Sep. Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Part-time Jobs Up."


(Oct. 5)Week in Review: Huge Jobs Report. The week started with an ADP Payroll Forecast article and  a September Jobs Report Forecast article. The ADP payroll Report was released on Wednesday, the Weekly Unemployment Claims data report on Thursday and the Employment Situation Report on Friday.


(Oct.7) There are more workers working this year than last year in all sectors. All sectors received a pay raise. There are ten main private sector sectors identified in the Jobs Report. The e average hourly rate rose for all ten. This does not happen very often. The details are found in "Strong. Sep. Worker and Wages Data."

(Oct. 7)  If you listened to some in the media you would think that President Trump is doing a terrible job with regard to the economy. You have to compare the first 32 months under President Trump with the first 32 months of former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. Only President Trump and Former President Clinton have been able to reduce unemployment, add full-time jobs, and boost the participation rates during their first 32 months in office. "Five Presidents at 32 Month: Full-time Job Leader" examines the data.

(Oct. 9) The data that is used to create the Jobs Report comes from two data sets: The CPS (Current Population Survey) data on jobs and unemployment and the CES (Current Employment Statistics) worker and wages data. The CPS data includes information on full-time and part-time jobs, as well as multiple job workers. That data is broken down by race and gender and age. The recent September participation data is comparable to September 2013. The article "Record Sep. for Women and Multiple Job Workers" details how we have more women working than during any prior month. It also details how we have the most September Dual PT workers and the most September workers who were working a primary full-time job and a secondary part-time job. We normally hit peak multiple job workers during October, November, and December. Women work more PT PT jobs than men. Men work more FT FT jobs than women.

(Oct.9)  Last week we received the September Jobs Report. This week we received the August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data on Job Opening, Hires, Quits, and Separations.  The same four sectors have the most job openings, hires, quits, and total separation as have had them for a protracted period of time.  We set an all-time record high for Quits this month. August is traditionally "Peak Quits" as people head back to school. "August JOLTS Déjà Vu: Record Quits and Separations Again" examines the data.

(Oct. 10) This week we had a record tying weekly unemployment claims report. This was our twenty-first week this year with the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims under 200,000 claims. Continuing Times are near a 40 year low. The Insured unemployment rate is within 0.01% of the all-time record low.

(Oct 11) The weekly unemployment claims report was released at the same time as the September Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. There has been talk that we may be in a "deflationary death spiral." Nope. More of the same. We are experiencing commodity deflation and service inflation along with 3.5% Shelter inflation. The report was issued on Thursday. "September CPI: Inflation only 1.49%" also highlights the spike in Health insurance that may or may not be happening.


(Oct. 12) "Oct. 12 Week in Review: Wages Up, Inflation Down." This week there was more talk about the Whistle blower, More talk about Impeachment. More talks about obstruction. There were also talks with China regarding Phase one of a trade agreement. The Obstruction Impeachment smoke screen is obscuring solid economic data. Wages are up. Workers are up. New Construction is Up. New Home sales are up. Retail sales are on a record pace. Now I am getting ahead of myself. We will receive Retail data and new construction data next week.


(Oct.14) The media was breathless regarding the "2-10 Rate Inversion" during August. What if it "never really happened." The article "What Bond Yield Inversion" details how the monthly bond rates did not invert while the daily bond yield inverted for just one day.

(Oct. 15) This column often publishes forecast articles for various important economic reports. One forecast article this month and this week was the article "September Retail Forecast: Another Half Trillion Dollar Month" projected the possibility of another $500 billion non-seasonally adjusted retail sale month. It also projected a potential $525 Billion Seasonally adjusted Month. All sectors were expected to drop month to month, non-seasonally adjusted. There was uncertainty regarding whether or not we would see a seasonally adjusted month similar to last September when some sectors grew and others contracted September to September.

(Oct. 16) We received record setting retail data on Wednesday. You would not know this by the mainstream media coverage. Nine straight months of more than $500 billion in monthly MARTS retails sales.  The seasonally adjusted sales data came in at a September Record of $525 billion.The non-seasonally adjusted data was recorded just under $500 billion at  a September Record of $499 billion. "Record Setting September Retail Sales" digs into the details and found that, yes, non-seasonally adjusted sales fell across the board, as expected. Some sectors saw September to September declines, seasonally adjusted, as was thought could happen.

(Oct. 17) If a record is set and nobody realizes it, did it happen? Yes. Two Unemployment claims records were set this week.We had a record setting 22nd week this year with the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims recorded under 200,000 claims. The Insured Unemployment Rate fell to an all-time record low of 0.94%. Ho Hum.

(Oct. 18) The September New Construction Report was released at the same time as the weekly unemployment claims data. We had the most September new single family starts since September 2006 with 80,600 starts. We had the most September  new home units under construction since September 2006. The media provided a collective yawn. "September Starts and Under Construction Surge" explains this  and how there may be some surprises for the New Home Sales data and the Existing Home Sales data.


(Oct. 19) "Oct. 19 Week in Review: More Remarkable data." The Government produces data on varying aspects of the economy every week of the year. We were supposed to receive the monthly Treasury statement on revenue and outlays. That is being delayed. We received record setting unemployment claims data. That was not reported elsewhere. We received record Retail Sales data, That wasn't covered. It was reported as being "weaker than expected." We received information that there was not a 2 year and 10 year bond rate inversion on a monthly basis. The inversion has to last months, not moments, to have significance.


(Oct. 22)  This week the news that should have made headlines was the better than projected existing home sales data. The non-seasonally adjusted monthly data showed that the number of units sold fell from 532,000 units to 452,000 between August and September. The thing is sales normally peak during June, maybe July, so a drop from August to September was expected. What wasn't expected was the jump from  421,000 units sold last September to 452,000 units sold this September. "September Existing Home Sales Record 3.9% Jump" also details how the average sales price declined August to September while rising to a new September record this month.

(Oct. 23) There has been noise in the press that while the economy is setting record for workers, jobs, wages, and low unemployment levels and rates that "not everyone is benefiting from the Trump Economy." Some people have not heard the mantra "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. You can't please all of the people all of the time." There have been people trying to spin the news that Manufacturing jobs are down in some of the key Battleground States. "Battleground States: Sep. Workers Data" examined the Current Employment Statistics worker data for Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Hint: All five states have more manufacturing jobs during September 2019 than they had during September 2016. Behold the "Magic Wand." Expecto Manufacato.

(Oct. 24) Thursday morning we received strong new home sales data that was reported as being weak.  Some in the media focused on the drop in the average sales price. That will happen when you sell more homes in the $300,000-$399,000 price range and fewer homes in the $400,000 to $499,000 range. They could have reported on how the seasonally adjusted annualized sales jumped from 607,000 units to 701,000 units, or 15.45%  They could have reported on how the year to date sales are up from 492,000 units last year to 527,000 units this year, or 7.11%.

(Oct. 25)  Last week the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment c;aims were recorded under 200,000 for the 22nd time this year. This was a record surpassing the 2018 record of 21 weeks. This week we had just over 186,000 NSA FTU claims recorded. This means we have had 23 weeks of NSA FTU under 200,000 claims this year, right? Not quite. Last weeks NSA FTU was revised to 201,000. "Record First-time Claims Data, Again" goes into detail on the NSA FTU data, the continuing claims data, and the insured unemployment rate data.


(Oct. 26) "Oct. 26 Week in Review: Housing Stronger than Reported." This week we received some strong data that was reported as being weak. The annualized existing home sales jumped September to September while the August to September annualized data declined. The media focused on a normal, annual, event of declining sales between August and September. The same thing happened wit the new home sales data. Eight out of nine months this year monthly sales have exceeded last year's same month values, including September. The media focused on declining sales prices and declining annualized sale on a month to month basis. They also continued to ignore the strength in the Weekly Unemployment Claims data.


(Oct. 28) We ran a surplus during September (Debtember.) We had record revenue, record on-budget revenue, record off-budget revenue, record Individual Taxes, Record Corporate, all with lower tax rates an higher savings rates. Check out "September Treasury Surplus of $82.8B."

(Oct. 28)  The ADP data indicated that we could have had a very strong Payroll report. The biggest question were were we going to see month to month declines in Mining and Logging? Were we going to see October to October Declines in mining and logging. "October ADP: Expecting a Treat" explains how month to month growth, October to October growth, and current year growth (January through September) were pointing towards at least 170,000 seasonally adjusted payroll positions to be added to the economy.

(Oct. 29) The monthly Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report, is created using two different data sets: The Current Population Survey (CPS) for Jobs and Unemployment and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data on Workers and Wages. The two data sets how been out of sync all year. This month both data sets were pointing towards significant gains, non-seasonally adjusted. The CPS data was pointing towards a surge in multiple job workers, a surge in full-time jobs, a potential surge in part-time jobs, and an expected drop in unemployment. The CES data was pointing towards a spike in workers and wages. "Oct. Jobs Forecast: Spike in Jobs and Workers" dug into "all of the data."

(Oct. 30) Wednesday was ADP Day. The title of the article "Oct. ADP: Trick not Treat" pretty much says it all. The article reported that while we did see private sector payroll gains October to October, as expected, the gains in month to month data was weaker than expected. Natural resource dropped, as expected. Manufacturing dropped, probably because of the GM strike. Construction dropped? In this economy?

(Oct. 31) We received a Halloween Treat with regard to the GDP. naysayers were projecting under 1.5% growth quarter to quarter. The media has been projecting a recession since November 5th 2016. Bill Maher "wants" a recession.  "Advance Third Quarter GDP: 1.9% is Okay" examined the data for Personal Consumption Expenditures, Gross Private Domestic Investment, Imports and Exports, and Government Consumption Expenditures.

(Oct. 31) Thursday has been, and always will be, except on Holidays, Unemployment Claims day. We have been setting modern era records for first-time claims and continuing claims. This week we recorded a record 23rd week with non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims under 200,000 claims. The best year ever before President Trump was elected was 1967 (19 Weeks.) Former President Obama had 2 weeks during 2016 and 1 week during 2015. "First-time Unemployment Claims Treat" celebrates Week #23 for his year.