Yet another new 50+ year low in continuing jobless claims
Yet another new 50+ year low in continuing jobless claims
After 3 days of a data desert, today there is a cornucopia of data: not just initial claims, but housing starts and permits, and industrial production as well. On top of that, a large stretch of the yield curve in the bond market is close to inverting after yesterday’s Fed rate hike. I’ll report on housing and production later; below is the read on new and continuing jobless claims.
Initial claims (blue) declined 15,000 to 214,000 (vs. the pandemic low of 188,000 on December 4). The 4 week average (red) declined 8750 to 223,000 (vs. the pandemic low of 199,750 on December 25). Continuing claims (gold, right scale) declined 71,000 to 1,419,000, which is not only a new pandemic low, but also the lowest number in over 50 years:
The temporary increase in claims due to Omicron has ended, but I still think we have probably seen the lows in initial claims for this expansion. But with continuing claims continuing at 50 year+ lows, the record tightness in the jobs market isn’t going away. The number of jobs available relative to the number of applicants will remain tight, meaning there will be continuing upward pressure on wages.
“today there is a cornucopia of data”
data is the plural
Cornucopia is singular while “of data” is a modifying preposition and object.
actually, I don’t speak Latin. I think data has been singular…a collectin of datums…for as long as I have been counting, except among those whose high point in life was eighth grade grammar…which is not the same as English grammar.
Perhaps you and Dave are both too old to remember 6th grade grammar. I believe that I may have had English Lit in 8th grade.
Barnes and Coberly,
[Semantics is no sin.]
Is “data” singular or plural?
Posted by Kerry Evans | Published July 13, 2015, 09:00
In scientific writing, the word data understandably gets a lot of play time, but writers don’t always agree on—and some seemingly can’t decide—whether it should be singular or plural. Here we’ll tackle that question, but before we do, we need to briefly discuss mass nouns and count nouns.
Mass nouns, which cannot be counted, always take a singular verb, whereas count nouns, which can be counted, have both singular and plural forms and take singular or plural verbs, accordingly. For example:
Furniture makes a nice addition to any home. (Furniture is a mass noun—we cannot count individual furnitures1—and thus takes a singular verb, makes.)
Chairs make good places to sit. (Chairs can be counted and here take a plural verb, make, because there are many chairs.)
One good way to test whether you have a mass noun or a count noun is to ask whether you would say how much [noun] or how many [noun]. If it’s the former (how much furniture?), the word is a mass noun. If it’s the latter (how many chairs?), the word is a count noun. Incidentally, one can perform this same test with fewer and less. Fewer is reserved for count nouns (fewer chairs), whereas less is reserved for mass nouns (less furniture). That’s why express-checkout signs at grocery stores should say, for example, 8 items or fewer, not 8 items or less.
Now let’s turn to the word data. Is data a mass noun or a count noun? Many scientific publications, including Cell Press titles, hold that data is a plural count noun (and that datum is the singular noun). Thus, we would write the data are conclusive, not the data is conclusive. This reflects the original Latin usage. To my ears, using a singular verb with data (and thus treating it as a mass noun) is akin to scratching one’s fingernails across a chalkboard.
That being said, it is standard to treat data as either a mass noun or a count noun, and those who use data as a mass noun (in the singular sense) seem to outnumber those of us who use it as a plural count noun—a Google search for data is returns almost seven times more hits than a search for data are.
The Oxford Dictionaries website gives the following explanation:
first, “grammar is what people speak, not what teachers say. pity those good students who had teachers who were good students and believe what teachers have said since before grammar was understood.
but in fact data is a mass noun. a single datum is an anecdote. the data as a plural don’t say anything. it is when all the datums are collected and analyzed that they become data.. which only have significance as a a mass…a singular mass. if you say the data show, it’s like saying my furniture are…
nope. the data shows, and my furniture is. and even if it weren’t (subjuntive use of plural form for singular subject) the “correct” grammar would be what the people say (sez?) unless you are trying to show off your education….at least unconsciously, but not at all inappropriate if you are unfortunately talking to people who care about such things.
Agreed, as well as many of the speaking people are still young enough to remember the 6th grade. Fun though when the pointy headed sticklers actually have it wrong and the ignorant masses get it correct. Your point is well taken though that the whole point of communications is to communicate. The whole point of language rules is to avoid ambiguity. Stuff goes wrong too often in both respects.
I think you may be young enough to have been a victim of the great ideas in education of the early sixties. Like teaching foundations of mathematics to first graders to save them all the time they would have spent in graduate school learning foundations when they had half a chance of understanding it. Nope, better to teach them by rote, because “by rote” is what you need in an educated citizenry, or army.
I am young enough to remember sixth grade and a remarkable absense of “grammar” which they didn’t give us until the eighth grade. How many of you knew what “data” meant in the sixth grade, or why it wasn’t datas, like deers.
Chomsky talked about knowledge vs performance. Also about deep structures. I am not sure if he considered that “performance” might have had some access to deep structures.
Or maybe just saying it like you heard it.
Remember “Winstons taste good AS a cigarette should!”
[By the way, I am a hypocrite in these matters. I cringe every time I hear a newsperson rape the language by using “begs the question that…” to mean “raises the question” instead of “assumes the consequence.”]
My first intro to foundations of mathematics (number theory, axioms, theorems, logic, proofs, and such) was 8th grade (1962/1963 school year) School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG) new math. SMSG was founded in 1958. Up until then we were only taught arithmetic, over and over again until I was completely bored. My math placement test in the 7th grade put me in SMSG for remedial study since I did not place ready for first year Algebra. In subsequent years (actually just grade periods – after a D the first six weeks, then I got straight A’s in SMSG once through the initial learning curve) I moved up to the head of the class in mathematics, had to double up Trig and Geometry in my junior year to catch up, and also was one of two to sit for the national honor merit scholarship test in my junior year of high school (the other guy moved up – but that was it for me), and was inducted in the honor society. My reading comprehension was college sophomore level when I was in the 6th grade and my arithmetic without error, but I sucked at math until SMSG set me free. I went on to have a successful 12 year run in computer programming before an even more successful career in large computer systems performance and capacity planning. A lot of that success leveraged my earlier programming experience although my skill set hat to move from COBOL and assembler to SAS language with a little assembler for special systems interface stuff.
So, mine was a new math success story, especially given that I dropped out of college mid-first semester from that boredom thing again. The draft extracted its toll on both my personal and professional life, but once again in time I doubled up to catch up.
The only thing that I can recall about 1st grade is how poorly behaved and slow to learn most of the other kids were. My parents were different from the others, a fact that was always starkly clear to me. Why other families possessed the material trappings of success that our family did not have was the origin of my love of irony. Apparently those capable of taking care of themselves do not need as much money and stuff.
there are people who win the lottery. and people wo don’t. if no one won, no one would play.
i had a couple of good teachers along the way and did pretty well..but not so well that it mattered in the long run. got to teach math to college students for a while. was surprised to find i wasn’t a very good teacher [they need inspiration to think for themselves, not explanations from someone who figured it out wboc.]
kids in chicago were pretty well behaved in school in 1950, not so much outside the door.
by eighth grade a kid with at least a little talent and a good teacher is probably ready for a little Foundations, though I think he would do better with a little calculus. giving foundations to a first grader is just stupid unless his name is Gauss, or your real purpose is to create learned helplessness and rote learning, and the Clever Hans effect.
we were all poor back then, so I did not notice any difference that way. but i got beat up because my mother took care that i was dressed for the weather.
been reading a bit today about injustice in the land of the free, and criminal stupidity in high places in 1916. it’s amazing how badly white people treat white people.
by the time i was 10 or so i stopped getting beat up by the kids, so the appointed officers of the law had to take over the job. is it any wonder i get overcome with anger at stupidity and arrogance in high places? or low places when they have a little derived power.