201801.05
3
3

The Reluctant Labor Force Is Reluctant For A Reason (and it’s not booming growth)

In 2017, the BLS estimates that just 861k Americans were added to the official labor force, the denominator, of course, for the unemployment rate. That’s out of an increase of 1.4 million in the Civilian Non-Institutional Population, the overall prospective pool of workers. Both of those rises were about half the rate experienced in 2016….

201801.05
2
4

Payrolls Hit The Trifecta of Awful

Last year was an objectively bad year for American workers. The latest payroll figures from the BLS for December 2017 fill out what was an awful picture. According to its Establishment Survey, the data that’s taken as the definitive source on the US labor market, total payrolls expanded by 2.055 million in 2017. That annual…

201708.08
2
3

Settling the State of Labor

The JOLTS report for June 2017 showed another surge in Job Openings. Hitting a record high, the BLS estimates there were nearly 6.2 million, up sharply from 5.7 million in May. As many in the media like to point out, Janet Yellen has declared Job Openings a favored economic statistics purportedly as a gauge of…

201608.05
2
0

Chart of The Week; They Really Don’t Know What They Are Doing Version

Given it is payroll Friday, it has to be a chart related to the futility of focusing on the headline number. There is any number of ways with which to accomplish this, but it serves well to highlight the relationship already presented in my view of this specific view of the payroll report. Economists often…

201608.05
2
0

Payrolls: Trying To Find Meaning In The Meaningless

The BLS released yet another perfect payroll report for July. It hit on all the major themes, putting further distance to the shocking May number. All the right people have been reassured by all the right parts. U.S. employment rose at a solid clip in July and wages rebounded after a surprise stall in the…

201601.08
Off
0

Perfect Payrolls Again; Unremarkable And Irrelevant

I think it entirely fitting, even useful in the long run, that December’s payroll report was yet another perfect month; the fourth of 2015 by my unofficial count. There was absolutely nothing wrong with any of the components, at least in the raw job count estimated by various statistical regressions and adjusted with imputations (wages,…

201508.07
2
0

When Even The Est. Survey Slows…

The monthly payroll report needs to be rebranded the monthly labor force report. By far, the most accurate measure of the series continues to be the apathy of Americans not currently working or looking toward purportedly massive employment expansion. Those two positions are not only inconsistent, they are by all intuitive sense mutually exclusive. No…

201410.07
1
0

Jobs Nobody Wants Or Jobs That Just Don’t Exist

The latest August figures for the JOLTS companion to the payroll climate continue to raise the possibility of statistical corruptions. Back in June, the level of job openings suddenly and very sharply spiked upward. That was used as confirmation of the ongoing surge in employment, but without attribution as to how closely job openings relate…

201408.01
3
0

What Is Being Left Out of the ‘Inarguable’ Payroll Expansion Is Far More Important

With all due respect to durable goods, perhaps I was a bit too hasty in assigning it the moniker of most boring. There is certainly competition now, as the monthly payroll euphoria has become just as homogenous, curiously, and engrained enough where commentary can simply be copied and pasted from month-to-month. Most people probably will…

201406.02
2
0

Far Fewer Households Than People

There was more bad news for real estate recently beyond the consistent declines in housing stats. The one factor that housing bulls have been awaiting is household formation, though so far that one has remained a drag. And that was supposed to be the catalyst, in that eventually Americans had to begin moving out once…