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

“Hurricane adjusting” initial claims has proven its value

“Hurricane adjusting” initial claims has proven its value For the last month, I deduced a “hurricane adjusted” number for initial claims, which showed that the previous underlying positive trend was intact, with the four week average remaining in the 230,000’s. That approach was borne out by this week’s report, which, at 222,000, was the lowest […]

Underlying industrial production trend ex-hurricanes remains positive

Underlying industrial production trend ex-hurricanes remains positive A few weeks ago, I suggested a hurricane workaround for industrial production. That approach was to average the four regional Fed indexes excluding Dallas, and add the Chicago PMI, and finally discount for the unusual strength this year in these regional indexes vs. production. Here was my conclusion: […]

A housing teaser

A housing teaser Here is something I have been working on for the last month.  As it happens, last week Kevin Drum posted some aspects of the same data. House prices have exceeded by a substantial margin median household income: But the monthly mortgage payments have not: This is because, while the prices of houses […]

A thought for Sunday: the Rule of Gerontocracy

A thought for Sunday: the Rule of Gerontocracy The US looks like government of, by, and for senior citizens. President Donald Trump just had his 72nd birthday. He assumed office at age 71, the oldest person ever to do so. In Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is 75 years old.  His Democratic counterpart, Charles […]

They are monsters

They are monsters The President and his GOP majorities in Congress are monsters. As one commentator on NPR put it yesterday afternoon, the President’s default mode is to toss an armed hand grenade into a room in order to create chaos.  He can then pick out the most vulnerable, and use that leverage to enter […]

One more scene from the September jobs report: late cycle deceleration continues

One more scene from the September jobs report: late cycle deceleration continues The rate of year over year job growth is probably the single best mid-expansion indicator, in part because there is very little noise in the Establishment survey jobs data YoY. But, as the below graph shows, going back all the way to 1948, […]

Scenes from the September jobs report

Scenes from the September jobs report On Friday I highlighted the difference between the results of the establishment survey and the household survey.  A 2006 paper from the BLS (pdf) explaining the differences in how jobs are counted in the two surveys shows us why: Interviewers from the Census Bureau contact households and ask questions […]

Scenes from the September jobs report

Scenes from the September jobs report On Friday I highlighted the difference between the results of the establishment survey and the household survey.  A 2006 paper from the BLS (pdf) explaining the differences in how jobs are counted in the two surveys shows us why: Interviewers from the Census Bureau contact households and ask questions […]

September jobs report: establishment survey stinks, but household survey rocks!

September jobs report: establishment survey stinks, but household survey rocks! HEADLINES: -33,000 jobs lost U3 unemployment rate down -0.2% from 4.4% to 4.2% (new low) U6 underemployment rate down -0.3% from 8.6% to 8.3% (new low) Here are the headlines on wages and the chronic heightened underemployment: Wages and participation rates Not in Labor Force, […]