payrolls

Payrolls: Deadly Low

By |2018-08-03T13:00:17+00:00August 3rd, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Economists say that the labor market is being restrained by secular factors, those outside of regular macro potential. These are opioid use, demographic changes toward an older population, and the downside effects of globalization as it alters the skills required by employers. Between drug addicts, retiring Baby Boomers, and lazy Americans who won’t go back [...]

Proving The ‘L’ In Labor

By |2018-06-06T12:15:56+00:00June 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Back in 2011 and 2012, apple growers in the state of Washington got the government there to declare an emergency. They were expecting a record or near-record crop of fruit but they just couldn’t find enough workers to harvest it all. Faced with a potentially devastating labor shortage, Washington’s governor turned to convicts. I wrote [...]

The Unemployment Rate Is Useless, But That Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Useful

By |2018-06-01T18:15:50+00:00June 1st, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

At a campaign rally in New Mexico in May 2016, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump returned to one of his favorite themes. It was a package deal. He first talked about NAFTA and what he considered the negative effects the trade agreement had had on American workers. That easily segued into what had by then become [...]

Profits, Bubbles, And Labor That’s Missing But Not Unexplained

By |2018-05-30T11:59:29+00:00May 30th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

You’ve heard all the ridiculous explanations for the labor market’s big deficiency. When not attempting to characterize payrolls as strong, Economists have tried to explain the participation problem through opioids and Baby Boomers. According to this absurd theory, businesses just can’t find enough willing or able workers to grow in a more normal fashion. That’s [...]

Laboring Unnecessarily Over Housing Imbalances

By |2018-05-24T18:30:22+00:00May 24th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

There are three major housing related data series published each and every month. The first is on construction of new units, the intersection of real estate and the macro economy compiled by the Census Bureau. The second is the number of newly built single-family homes that have been sold, relating obviously to the level of [...]

Three Point Nine, Still No Boundary For Sanity

By |2018-05-04T12:18:02+00:00May 4th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

For all its tortured economic history since 1989, Japan has never really had an unemployment problem. Going by its unemployment rate alone, conditions don’t ever appear to be all that out of line. At its worst, in both the dot-com recession as well as Japan’s experience during the Great “Recession”, the highest it ever got [...]

Payroll Time

By |2018-04-06T13:37:15+00:00April 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Never get hung up on one payroll report, good or bad. The Establishment Survey series, seasonally-adjusted and statistically smoothed as much as humanly possible, is still incredibly noisy. It didn’t used to be this way, which is an important clue that “something” has changed. The lack of consistency in the monthly measurement is as the [...]