Reclaiming Common Sense

This was a busy month for readers of this column. There were multiple columns that revolved around the data from the August Jobs Report. How did we do with job creation? What happened with people working two jobs? How are different age groups impacted by the recession and recovery? Which industry has done better after the recession. Which states are doing better? Who is doing worse? One thing is certain - you, the readers of this column have enjoyed what I have written during the past two months. Readership soared during August and September. August readership was up 207% from July to August. Readership during September is up by over 359% compared to August. This column is seeing daily readership greater than what monthly readership used to be.  Thank you.

The Top Ten Columns this month focused on jobs.

(9/15) One of the numbers that receives very little attention is the weekly unemployment report. The weekly First-time Unemployment Numbers, Seasonally Adjusted, could have been reported lower. Why would they chose seasonal factors that skew the data higher? "Alarming Unemployment Numbers - Should Have Been Reported Higher" dug into the weekly Seasonally Adjusted First-time Unemployment Claims and Continuing Claims data.

(9/12) This month there was a question as to whether or not the Federal Reserve would increase interest rates. The seasonally adjusted data that is released on a regular basis would indicate some potential for a rate increase. The problem is that the non-seasonally adjusted data indicates the exact opposite. "Why the Fed Should, Won't raise Interest Rates" digs into the numbers behind the news.

(9/2) Normally the most read column of the month is the monthly Jobs Report Column. This month the Job Reports column cam in third place. "Weak Jobs Report - 1 Million Part-time Jobs Lost" examined the Current Population Survey (CPS) data with regard to full-time jobs created, part-time jobs lost, and the unemployment rates and participation rates. It also dug into the manipulation of the seasonally adjusted Private Sector Current  Employment Statistics (CES) data.

(9/8) A second column regarding the Weekly Unemployment Claims numbers hit the top ten columns for the month of September. "Should the First-time Claims Number have been reported closer to 295,000" examined the seasonal factors used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) First-time Unemployment (FTU) Claims to the Seasonally Adjusted FTU number.  The first-time unemployment claims streak is not what it appears to be.

(9/9) The monthly jobs report spawns many articles on this website. One of the columns looked at the break-down of the workforce by age, employment, and participation. This edition of the "Red, Gray, and Blue" series "Participation Rate Down for those 16-64 years old" illustrated the impacts of the recession on all age groups. We have more people working who are 65-69, 70-74, and 75 years and older than before the recession and possible more than ever recorded.

(9/21) The most watched television show this week was the "Clinton-Trump Debate (Part 1.)" What could have been a great debate was one of the worst that this author has ever observed. It would have been much better if they had used the questions posed in the column "Questions for the Clinton Trump Economic Debate."

(9/5) A third column spawned from the August Jobs Report data was "Four Presidents at 91 Months - Laboring Under False Pretenses" compared jobs creation, changes in participation, changes in unemployment, and the effective unemployment rate of Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama at the same point in their time in office. We are hearing about how the economy is at full-employment. Full-employment is considered to be when we are at or below 5% unemployment. The problem is that participation has dropped like a stone since 2008. Our effective unemployment rate, when the non-participants are factored into the equation, the unemployment rate is in excess of 10% and potentially higher than 13%.

(9/15) The "Jobs Report," and "Four Presidents" columns are two of the most popular columns on a month to month basis. Recently the column that focuses on the Retail jobs report has become a popular column. "Sluggish Retail Sales Numbers" details how there is a slowdown in the retail sales numbers - especially in furniture sales, electronic and appliance sales, clothing sales, and gasoline sales.

(9/1) Thankfully, every couple of months, one of the Top Ten Columns of the Month is the "Top Ten Columns of the Month" column.Coming in at tenth place is the  "Top Ten Columns of August" Column. The Top Ten columns of August included the "July JObs Report" column, the July Jobs Report Forecast Column, the "Four Presidents at 90 Months" column, the monthly Federal Debt column,the "Four Presidents at 89 months" column, the July Retail report column, and others.