Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Interest rates: no shift in the economic weather yet

Interest rates: no shift in the economic weather yet I wanted to make two comments about what has been happening recently with interest rates, a short term look and a long term look. Today let’s discuss the short term. Since September, long term Treasury interest rates have risen from roughly 2.1% to 2.8%. The two […]

Fraying at the edges? *relative* underemployment increases

Fraying at the edges? *relative* underemployment increases This is a post I’ve been meaning to put up all week (after all, this week was going to be very slow on data and news, right?). As the expansion gets more and more mature, the *relative* performance of certain measures of improvement become more interesting.  One of […]

Jobless claims make another record low

Jobless claims make another record low One reason not to get excited about the last week’s stock market swoon is that it isn’t being confirmed by any other short term leading indicators.  Most significantly, jobless claims. The 4 week moving average of new jobless claims has fallen below 225,000. This is yet another 40 year […]

Why I’m not impressed by January’s 2.9% YoY wage growth

Why I’m not impressed by January’s 2.9% YoY wage growth I wanted to follow up on why I dissented Friday from the near-consensus take that workers finally got a nice raise, with many citing hikes in the minimum wage. As you may recall, the YoY% change in the average hourly earnings of all employees rose 2.9% […]

January jobs report

January jobs report: good headline growth, mostly negative internals. UPDATE: THE BOSSES GAVE THEMSELVES A RAISE HEADLINES: +200,000 jobs added U3 unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1% U6 underemployment rate rose 0.1% from 8.1% to 8.2% Here are the headlines on wages and the chronic heightened underemployment: Wages and participation rates Not in Labor Force, but […]

A note on December existing home sales

A note on December existing home sales First of all, sorry for the light posting this week.  There’s not much news until tomorrow and Friday, and yesterday was a travel day.  So….. While existing home sales are about 90% of the entire housing market, they are the least important economically, because of their much more […]