Don’t sweat the Q3 2017 job losses
by New Deal democrat
Don’t sweat the Q3 2017 job losses
As an initial matter, this is a good time to remind you that the data is the data is the data. It’s not partisan. I’ve seen some of the same people who were touting “It’s still Obama’s economy” all last year (and I agree with that) now suddenly saying that the Q3 BED job losses show that “the Trump/GOP economy is tanking” No, they don’t.
The big flashing red neon sign is in this state by state map (h/t Bloomberg):
While job losses in Michigan and Ohio might not be so unexpected, for major job losses to happen in Florida sticks out in the data like a sore thumb.
Yesterday the BLS issued its report on Q3 2017 Business Employment Dynamics. This has gotten some notice because, for the first time in 7 years, it showed a net loss last summer of -140,000 jobs.
While hurricanes and wildfires occur every summer, last year was a particularly bad one. And a look at the three states most directly involved — Florida, Texas, and California — tells us exactly what happened. The BLS appended a note expressly stating that they did not adjust for this.
Here’s a chart of the net job gains and losses over the last 5 quarters for each of the 3 affected states. The last line is the net change compared with the previous quarter:
Quarter FL TX CA
Q3 2016 112.9 76.2 110.0
Q4 42.0 50.1 70.0
Q1 2017 35.9 61.0 90.3
Q2 37.8 48.9 45.3
Q3 (-133.5) 16.0 24.3
NET (-171.3) (-32.9) (-21.0)
The net loss of -171,300 jobs in Florida alone compared with the previous quarter exceeds the net nationwide loss of -140,000. Add in the other two states affected by unusually severe disasters and you get a net loss of -224,200 jobs.
Does anyone seriously think the Florida economy suddenly went to hell in Q3 of last year in any cyclical manner? Of course it didn’t.
So I’m not putting too much stock in this report.
By the way, remember that initial claims shot through the roof for a month after the hurricanes:
This morning they made a new 48 year low, at 209,000. Wow!
When The End is really Near, I’ll tell you. If my systems are right, hopefully about a year in advance. If the economy is left to its own devices, The End is not Near now.
I made it a habit of watching BLS PR and before most, I started to recalculate what true U3 was when taking into account a lower PR stating 2002. Doing so did not catch on for a few years, then reporting PR became the rage.
In Michigan, we have the Repub Trifecta (Gov. , Senate, House) touting the increase in jobs over Snyder’s reign since 2011. Dem Granholm never had a Dem Senate and only a Dem House for 4 years of her term. Repubs have had a Trifecta 13 years since 1990. The boast is Snyder fixed what Granholm and Dems left broken in 2010. Of course, everyone knows automotive sales started to drop in 2006 and then Wall Street killed the economy and Main Street paid dearly to fix it. Lots of things going on in Michigan for which the state had little control over other than to tough it out.
Granholm left office EOY 2010 and Snyder took office in 2011. PR dropped a 1.5% and then another .5%. In 8 years of a Repub Trifecta, we have only gained back 1.3% of PR which will be worse than what Granholm left. All you hear is Snyder’s job creation during 8 years of Michigan Repub Trifecta as the state was dragged along with the growth in the national economy. Auto sales went from a low of 10 million in 2009 to a traditional high of 17 million in 2017. PR sits at 61.5% in Michigan having started at 60.6%. More people joined the Labor Force and the numbers of working grew by ~210,000 over 8 years.
Michigan is still mediocre. I had the opportunity to explain that to one Repub voter who was whacking a way at a Dem County Commissioner candidate. He got hostile pretty quick to my written explanation. Repubs have pretty much controlled the fate of Michigan since 1990 even though the state goes Dem for Presidents and Senators. The House count is gerrymandered to favor Repubs.
Easy for you to say–you’ve still got your job.
Isn’t it amazing that people talk about MI, WI, Ohio and PA going GOP in 2016 like it was such a shock considering which party has run those states the vast majority of the last couple of decades?
Since 1992, Michigan went Dem in National Elections. Even longer, Wisconsin went Dem. Much of how the State Senate and House goes is dependent upon districting. Michigan Federal Senators have been mostly Dem.