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

Jobless claims highest in three months – but seasonality still playing a huge role

Jobless claims highest in three months – but seasonality still playing a huge role On a unadjusted basis, new jobless claims rose by 231,335 to 1,151,015. Seasonally adjusted claims also rose by 181,000 to 965,000. The 4 week moving average rose by 18,250 to 834,250. Here is the close up since the end of July […]

Scenes from the December jobs report

Scenes from the December jobs report Friday’s December jobs report saw the first decline in employment since the lockdowns of March and April. Let’s take a closer look.As I pointed out Friday, the losses were concentrated in the food and dining (restaurant) and amusement and recreation sectors, both of which are shown below normalized to […]

Programming note

by New Deal democrat Programming note   Four year ago I wrote a valedictory piece about the Obama Administration, and separately wrote of my fears of what the Trump Administration would wreak. Needless to say, especially in light of events of the past week, I intend to do the same retrospective as to Trump and […]

November JOLTS report shows the renewed impact of the pandemic, partial lockdowns

November JOLTS report shows the renewed impact of the pandemic, partial lockdowns This morning’s JOLTS report for November (remember – a month in which there were total job gains) showed a jobs market recovery that at least paused due to the increasing effects of the out of control pandemic. Hires were up (good), while quits […]

December inflation: real aggregate wages fall as real average wages rise due to compositional effects

December inflation: real aggregate wages fall as real average wages rise due to compositional effects Consumer inflation typically rises as expansions continue, and declines once recessions start. Once a recovery begins, inflation typically steadies again. While the pandemic has affected both consumer demand and the supply chain, overall the paradigm should still apply. With that […]

December jobs report:

December jobs report: I told you so – jobs actually declined in December, BUT employment primed for takeoff once pandemic abates Important: There was a huge amount of seasonality in this report. This is common for December, but the issue was greatly exacerbated because of the outsized impact of the pandemic. Take the large changes […]

You’ve Already Seen These Questions

You’ve Already Seen These Questions Why is it that no existing society, nor society that ever existed, has arrived at universal prosperity, considering that in all times, and in all societies, excepting only the very barbarous, a few years would naturally have led to it? How is it that notwithstanding the unbounded extent of capital, […]

An Appointment I Disapprove Of

An Appointment I Disapprove Of  While many of them could be more progressive, given that Biden himself is largely a moderate making moderate nods to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in his appointments, I have largely been not too dissatisfied with appointments made so far by President-Elect Biden.  My only surprise is that […]

November construction spending confirms building surge

November construction spending confirms building surge One of my consistent themes in the past few months has been how the housing market is priming the economy for strong growth in 2021 as soon as the pandemic is brought under control. In that vein, November construction spending surged, confirming what we have already been seeing in housing […]

November construction spending confirms building surge

November construction spending confirms building surge One of my consistent themes in the past few months has been how the housing market is priming the economy for strong growth in 2021 as soon as the pandemic is brought under control. In that vein, November construction spending surged, confirming what we have already been seeing in housing […]