Reclaiming Common Sense

 Weak Housing Data. Weak Jobs Data. Week in Review - or Weak in Review

There was an event in Las Vegas this past week. Two people who want to be President  attempted to convey their vision for the next four to eight years. This column produces article on the here and now. We need accurate reporting on jobs, housing, inflation, consumer spending and other issues.

(Oct. 17)  The week started with a continuation of the analysis of the September Jobs Report. Remember that we lost 1.1 million non-seasonally adjusted(NSA)  Full-time jobs and gained 1.3 million NSA Part-time jobs. Remember that the authors of the employment situation report had to invent a new seasonal factor to convert weak  (NSA) Current Employment Statistics into acceptable SA CES data. Remember that we saw record levels of people working two part-time jobs. The article "MIA: Workers 35-54 Year Old" details how the workforce population and  jobs worked for  35-49 years old have dropped and the number of jobs worked for 50-54 year olds have also dropped. Is it because they are having families or because they never regained work after the Great Recession?

(Oct. 19)  This column spends a considerable amount of time, energy, and effort covering the jobs report data and the housing data. The housing data has three main reports: New Home Construction data, New Home Sales Data, and the Existing Home Sales Data. We received reports on the New Home Construction data and the Existing Home Sales Data this week. The article "Weak, Weakening September New Construction" details how we have had an incomplete recovery in the new construction market. We are seeing Starts and completions data comparable to 1983, 1992, and 2007. We were on the decline during 2007. We were seeing improvement during 1983 and 1992. We will not going to hit any of those levels.

(Oct. 20)  Contrary to what you might hear, or not hear, there are still unemployed workers who make first-time unemployment (FTU) claims and who are receiving continuing unemployment claims (CC.) "Unemployment Claims Still Rolling" details how while we are seeing 16 year lows for October FTU and CC claimants, we have not seen over 80 consecutive weeks of under 300,000 seasonally adjusted FTU claimants and how the low level of claimants may be contributed to record levels of people working two part-time jobs and a generational low for workforce participation. People are still starting the unemployment process.

(Oct. 20)  We have seen a dramatic drop in the home ownership rate over the past decade. Home ownership provides people with shelter, security, and a tax write-off. People who purchase homes need lenders, appraisers, movers, retail sales people, some Realtors, and other workers. Existing home sales are a catalyst for our economy. Unfortunately this data set does not go back to 1983 or 1992., as does the new home construction data. This data set reveals that we are on a slower pace of sales than we were during 2003, that the growth rate is slower, so the recovery will take longer, and that we may be cresting.  "September Existing Homes Still in Recovery" spells out how while we are doing better than we were during the recession we are nowhere near expansion. 

(Oct. 21)  If the recovery is so good why don't we have a good feeling about the economy. The media has been touting the economic stimulus of low gasoline prices. Recently Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen stated that we might need a "hot" economy may be needed to heal the economy. One of the important data sets that is released during a month is the Consumer Price Index data. The CPI data for September shows that we are seeing our energy savings consumed by higher medical costs, higher insurance costs, higher education and communication costs, and higher shelter costs. "Medical Inflation, Shelter Inflation Eating Into Energy Savings "details how we are spending our money and the real inflation that we are experiencing.

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It's the Economy.