201711.03
Off
1

Four Point One

The payroll report for October 2017 was still affected by the summer storms in Texas and Florida. That was expected. The Establishment Survey estimates for August and September were revised higher, the latter from a -33k to +18k. Most economists were expecting a huge gain in October to snapback from that hurricane number, but the…

201708.04
Off
7

Payrolls And The 2014 Problem

If the economy this year is like it was in 2014, the latest payroll report is moving in that direction. As has been the case since that time, the Establishment Survey will typically estimate two good months in a row. For this year that means those above 200k, as the 209k in July 2017 follows…

201707.19
Off
5

Y2K Was Really The Great Uncertainty

In late 1999, the Federal Reserve established what was ostensibly an emergency credit facility. On October 1 that year, this offshoot of the Discount Window went live. Its main feature was that it was to be a primary program, meaning that banks didn’t have to prove they could access funds elsewhere first. They could go…

201704.07
Off
1

It Was And Still Is The Wrong Horse To Bet

The payroll report disappointed again, though it was deficient in ways other than are commonly described. The monthly change is never a solid indication, good or bad, as the BLS’ statistical processes can only get it down to a 90% confidence interval, and a wide one at that. It means that any particular month by…

201703.10
Off
2

Payrolls Still Slowing Into A Third Year

Today’s bland payroll report did little to suggest much of anything. All the various details were left pretty much where they were last month, and all the prior trends still standing. The headline Establishment Survey figure of 235k managed to bring the 6-month average up to 194k, almost exactly where it was in December but…

201701.11
2
0

Consumers Willingly Taking On Risk, Or Left With Few Other Options?

The Federal Reserve reported this week that consumer credit increased by $24.5 billion in November, the largest expansion since August and one of the biggest monthly changes in the data series. Non-revolving credit was actually subdued at least as compared to what has become typical. Revolving credit, on the other hand, surged by $11 billion….

201701.09
Off
0

LMCI: Not Yet Finished

With two months of an increasing index, the Federal Reserve’s alternate, comprehensive factor model for the labor market turned negative again for December 2016. The Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI) was down 0.3 points after gaining an upwardly revised 2.1 in November. Though there are 19 components in the overall index, the lackluster headline number…

201609.02
3
1

Slowing And Even Contracting: Hours & Earnings

The primary symptom of the economic malaise or depression that has developed since the Great Recession (which wasn’t a recession) is an economy that works less and thus earns less. Such a condition would suggest a shrunken system or at least vastly diminished potential. That much is well-established even in the orthodox literature though it…

201608.09
5
0

Productivity Circularity

On June 6, Janet Yellen spoke to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in what were highly scrutinized comments. The occasion was just a weekend in between the May payroll report that clearly unnerved her and the rest of the FOMC. Prior to that BLS publication, it was believed that a rate hike in June…

201606.08
Off
0

Productivity And Labor; More Evidence For A Supercycle

The BLS updated its productivity estimates yesterday to incorporate the BEA’s slight upward revision in GDP for Q1 2016. The changes to the productivity series were also small, where the initial estimate was for -1% (annualized) US labor productivity now revised to -0.6%. Private output, the BLS’s matching point in the BEA GDP series, was…