Reclaiming Common Sense

This was Jobs Week. We received remarkable ADP payroll data, remarkable weekly unemployment claims data, and remarkable monthly employment Situation report data. The reports, meh.

(Sep. 5) This was "Jobs Week" with the release of the August ADP Payroll report, the Weekly Unemployment Claims Report, and the August Employment Situation Report. This column writes forecast articles for the ADP report and the "Jobs Report."  The article "ADP Payroll Preview: Solid except Construction" examined the July to August Changes and the August to August changes. There was the possibility of a month to month decline in Construction and August to August declines in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and the IT sectors

(Sep. 5) There are some economists that are predicting a recession will hit next year. There were prognosticators proclaiming the end of the economic expansion and a recession from which we would never escape once President Trump won the election. "Chicken Little Economists" details how the sky is not falling. The storm clouds are not on the radar.

(Sep. 6) Thursday was a double header with the release of the August ADP Payroll report at 8:15 AM EDT and the Weekly Unemployment Claims Report at 8:30 AM EDT.Last week we had the 12th week of the year with the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims data under 200,000 claims. This week the NSA FTU value dropped by almost 2%, so it was "Lucky 13 Weeks Under 200,000 Claims." The questions are "When will the NSA FTU claims number drop below 150,00" and "When will the NSA Continuing Claims data fall below 1.250 Million?"

(Sep. 6) The August ADP report was rather lackluster, in a good way. "August ADP Points to more of the same" details how month to month every sector added to their payroll except "Natural Resources" and how every sector grew August to August except Information. The month to month growth was better than August 2016 and slower than August 2017. The year to year growth was better than August 2017 and slower than August 2016. Remember, there were massive revisions to the 2016 and 2017 data after the January Jobs report was released and was reflected in the February ADP Payroll Report. The annual growth rate was unchanged between June, July, and August.

(Sep. 7) The August Jobs Report was better than the "experts expected" and better than was reported.  "August Jobs Report: Workers Up, Participation Down" reports that the Non-Seasonally Adjusted Current Employment Statistics recorded its best August since 2014: unemployment fell, its fourth largest August Drop ever; Full-time and part-time jobs saw a huge drop off, the largest combined drop since 1980. Even after this serious drop, most likely seasonal jobs, we have the most August Worker ever and the most August FT jobs ever.

(Sep. 7) What about wages? The "Up" economists (Squirrel,) have been deflecting the dropping unemployment rate, the rising participation rate, and the surge in full-time jobs by asking "What about wages?" (Squirrel) What about inflation adjusted, or Real Wages? (Squirrel.)  All I remember from 2009 through 2016 were discussions of wages not keeping up with inflation.  Now that wages and inflation are heating up, and wages are outpacing inflation, the "Up" economists are saying "Yeah, but." "August Wages and Workers Jump Higher" examines the non-seasonally adjusted worker data and the non-seasonally adjusted wage data by sector.

The data was very good. The coverage, not so much. There is Trump Derangement Syndrome and Tesla Derangement Syndrome running rampant. There is Twitter Derangement Syndrome. There is Trump Supreme Court Nominee Derangement Syndrome. There is Twenty-fifth Amendment Derangement Syndrome.  Oy.

It's the Economy.