BLS Statistics for June
It has been said, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Forms of this phraseology can be traced back to 1911 with newspaper editor Tess Flanders discussing journalism and publicity. A Piqua, Ohio company (“Piqua Auto Supply House”) also used a form of it in an advertisement. I consulted in Piqua in the eighties. A sleepy town along I75 having a large, what-was-once a 19th – 20th century hotel and now renovated historical attraction (Fort Piqua) midtown. “San Antonio Light” used the phrase as one of their advertisements in 1918. Many times were a lengthy explanation replete with numeric can not get the explanation across, a picture is more apt to display the underlying meaning of your thoughts.
Ken Roberts, a student at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) who is interning at Personal Income depicts the most recent BLS report statistics in one picture for Angry Bear readers. Make sure you click on the graphic (twice) to get a better view of Ken’s graphic and work.
Even with nonfarm payroll employment increasing by 287,000 in June, U3 increased by two tenths to 4.9 while Participation Rate increased one tenth indicative of more people entering the Civilian Labor Force looking for work. The entry of more people into the market looking for jobs resulted in the increased U3. Nothing has occurred to be excited about as the Labor Market has an excess of underemployed and unemployed workers. Great for employers even with slowly increasing Labor wages. Some may depict a tightening of the market has caused the increase rather than accept this as a correction for the years of stagnation and a decreased Labor wage. There is still a large capacity of Labor from which companies can draw from and train if they choose to do so which would offset increased Labor costs in hiring.
Much better than last month, with that big drop in full-time work. It was like a bunch of people went part-time just for May.
Run did tiny edit: RSID > RISD. Checked their website to verify.
Thanks. Sometimes the left hand moves faster than the right hand.
Because we all know the government will do and say anything to make itself look good. Why should we believe the Bureau of Liar Statistics as good report? It is good only if you compare it to the previous months record lows.. Most wages are still at all time lows in real terms of earning power from 20 years ago. The labor participation rate is at an all time low. The 10 year Treasury bond is at a all time low and so is the mortgage home rate. I do not think there is really anything to celebrate about this report regarding newly created livable wage jobs in America that is still most likely at an all time low…This is why we need true tax reforms and the Balanced Trade Act of 2017 passed with the H.R.820 provisions in it. Then we will begin see meaningful job creation in America.
Why is it BLS fault everything is in some type of trouble. They report the news and are good at it. They do not make the news.
If the picture were published on the front page of the business section of every newspaper and BLS gov’t report page it might be an effective means of informing the public. However, that wouldn’t serve the purposes of wall street to keep up the hype.
I find it personally far more edifying to use the changes in employment with respect the 5 year trend (currently since mid-2011). The fundamental question is whether the trend will hold, increase, or decrease. I also use the running 2 month average since it gives a less volatile and thus more appropriate measure of whether there’s a significant change occurring or not. In that measure the most recent six 2 month running means are below the trend. This is not an encouraging sign… or it may mean we only hit a temporary soft-patch in employment. In any event, the major June hiring binge wasn’t all that much greater than the trend and well within the 1s confidence limits…. certainly nothing to write home about, much less hype as all the headlines did.
The employment (and other time series reports on the economy) need to viewed with some perspective to have any clue at all of whether they’re significant or just part of the random noise.
As I and others have done, we have pulled historical data to look to and analyze trends. That is not rocket science as the data is available. It is not necessarily up to the BLS is organize the data for everyone. If you take the time to survey, you can pick up on the meaning of the numeric.
Parenthetically, the BLS does an excellent job of publishing the details of their information, but a lousy job of presenting it for the general interest public.
More than that however, the BLS does not at all publish much of the information it could publish. For example, in each monthly employment report it would be relevant to know the employment wage/salary distribution of the monthly employment gains/losses. Simply knowing that x jobs gained were in “Hospitality” and y were in “ambulatory health care” doesn’t give much insight into the distribution of associated income gains and losses associated with employment changes.
“Balanced Trade Act of 2017”?
Maybe next year.
‘[The] BLS does not at all publish much of the information it could publish. For example, in each monthly employment report it would be relevant to know the employment wage/salary distribution of the monthly employment gains/losses.”
I don’t think they get that. The SSA might, though. It would require much collaboration between the two. Remember that the BLS report is a survey only. Last month’s bad drop in full-time employment, followed by this month’s reversal, could be nothing but random measurement error.
It is rocket science though to the general public… how many average 4 year college grads can run a regression model, get the residuals, and plot them with confidence intervals without taking hours of their time to figure out how? Now put that in the context of the general public and you get my drift.
I’m advocating that the time series data that have and will have an effect of the present and future economic benefits (or lack thereof) of most people be presented to them in a fashion that allows them to see the perspective and thus form opinions without have to resort solely to the new hype put out by wall street and our other ‘elite’ sources of information. The BLS does not do this, nor does any other gov’t or unbiased institution.
Hence the information is only of value to a few in commercial business, wall street, some policy makers, and to a scarce few in the general public (like me) who are curious and able enough to look at it in with some perspective. In that sense the BLS publications are primarily for the elitists and the general public only see’s the hyped headline versions from which they form their uninformed opinions.
Thank you for the return and placing a salutation inn the beginning so I knew you were talking to me. Too few do it.
I agree, too few know how to run stats. It still does not make it rocket science and it is simple Algebra. Mostly I believe, even if presented in a manner as the graph depicts; it “still” requires interpretation and a look at historical data (such as going back to Fall 2001) to gain an understanding of what is taking place. The media does not present such and the public is left with snippets of input to ascertain what is happening. I do agree with you mostly.
Your comments are certainly worth reading.
Not my graph/chart, what did you think of it? Was it comprehensive enough and understandable? An interested and young author would like to know.
Warren, actually the BLS does publish the average work week, aggregate hours worked and hourly and weekly earnings by industry.
See tables 3 & 4 of the payroll data.
Been so busy, I could not remember.
The NFP release is a cruel one. It is the most important monthly info. It drives markets for days. It comes out at 8:30 am, before the US cash and futures markets open.If the numbers are outside of what is “expected” (ala Friday) then trillions of $s of assets have to get repriced. All of the action is done in the grey market. Big spreads, high volatility. It’s easy to win or lose a few mil in the 30 minutes that follows the release.
Last Friday’s #s were about 100k above expectations. The markets howled. But 100k is only 0.07% of the work force. The BLS does not have the tools to make an estimate with that that level of precision.
The NFP data is the cause of a monthly market hiccup, but it is nothing but guesses.
“[The] BLS does publish the average work week, aggregate hours worked and hourly and weekly earnings by industry.”
I think Longtooth was interested in the distribution, not just the average. (An average is not very helpful in a chi-squared distribution.)
BTW, I _am_ a rocket scientist! 😀
Warren, I was fully aware of the BLS stats available on weekly salary’s hours, worked, etc. and if you hunt a little you can get average salaries for the past year and some limited history for almost every occupation.
Occasionally I have used the changes in employment x the average incomes of those different “occupational segments”, with weightings proportional to the total employment to find the estimated real effect in overall economy both on the trend, and for cumulative income gains over some time period.
The employment changes by segment x the average incomes in those segments, weighted by their proportion of the overall employment give a distribution of income gains by income groups (quintiles for example) so that’s the distribution I was referring to.
This is a tedious, time consuming process even for me so I don’t do it often enough to keep a running account. What’s its told me in the past is that more often than not the income distribution gains are at or near the bottom of the income scales, even when employment increases in a few of the higher income paying brackets, and the cumulative last 12 months numbers aren’t that exiting in terms of the percentage change year-over year.
Since employment numbers are actually only about how this relates to economic growth, consumption, disposable income, etc. and whether employers are on a binge of hiring or laying off then it seems to me that the least the BLS could do is provide the overall effects as I’ve described above, rather than leaving it to wall street financial houses and banks to work up and keep to themselves.
I would like to believe that the more this kind of information is directly available and shown through the media fort the public at large the more informed they are of realities and less dependent on the hype they get from the headlines… written by wall street and used to sell more newspapers.
I would like to believe this, even though I’m not sure it would help the public become more informed of the realities with some perspective. Perhaps the public at large could care less (but then why does the U of ? publish their consumer sentiment surveys.?) .. so the public must care if they’re offering opinions about their outlook for themselves or the economy in general for surveys.
Run75441 brought up the subject with the more consumer friendly BLS employment report. I’m just saying that’s nice but a lot more could b e done and, imo, should be, and the BLS should do it.
I think that, in the time they have to put a report together, they do pretty well. More will cost more money. Perhaps, rather than processing things more to your liking, they could simply make the raw survey data available, and you can play with it to your heart’s content.
They should include something to account for May’s original number of 38,000 new jobs was revised downward to 11,000.
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