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

Real wages decrease sharply – at least, if you include used vehicle prices

Real wages decrease sharply – at least, if you include used vehicle prices As I pointed out yesterday, the big increase in inflation over the past few months has made the YoY change in real wages for nonsupervisory workers negative. Let’s take a little closer look. Here is a graph of wages for nonsupervisory workers […]

USPS proposal Reduces service standards Causing “undue discrimination”

Steve Hutkins from Save The Post Office, “Why the USPS proposal to reduce service standards will cause “undue discrimination” The Postal Service’s plan to reduce service standards is now being reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission for an Advisory Opinion. On Monday, June 21, the Postal Service and several of the intervenors in the case […]

Fact-Free

During the first Trump impeachment, and the second, House Republicans strongly opposed subpoenaing any witness who might tell the world some of the more egregious things that Trump had done and said as President. During the Senate trials, Mitch McConnell used his position to ensure that no witnesses were called, no incriminating evidence was presented, […]

Scenes from last week’s June employment report

Scenes from last week’s June employment report With no significant economic data today, let’s take a look at some of the more salient numbers from the June employment report released one week ago. Starting with the headline employment numbers, both the Establishment Survey and the Household Survey, while diverging in any given month, are in […]

The virus remains in control in the unvaccinated States

Trend in new jobless claims flattens: the virus remains in control in the unvaccinated States New jobless claims are the most important weekly economic datapoint with regard to the effects of vaccination progress. Four weeks ago I wrote, “I think we are going to see two tracks going forward from here, as near-normalcy does return to […]

May JOLTS report continues to show a jobs market out of equilibrium

May JOLTS report continues to show a jobs market out of equilibrium This morning’s JOLTS report for May continued all of the trends we saw in April – a huge amount of unfilled job openings, a comparatively weak level of actual hiring, an enhanced number of people quitting their jobs, and record low layoffs and […]

Bad news and *relatively* “good” news about the Delta Wave

Coronavirus dashboard for July 6: bad news and *relatively* “good” news about the Delta Wave  In the near future, there appears to be bad news and *relatively* “good” news for the US. The bad news is that the “delta wave” is spreading, and we should expect a real outbreak on the order of last summer’s […]

850,000 Jobs Added in June, U-3 Rises to 5.9%

June’s jobs report, Marketwatch 666, Commenter RJS This week’s major agency issued economic releases included the Employment Situation Summary for June from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and three May reports that will input into 2nd quarter GDP: the BEA’s report on International Trade for May, the May report on  Construction Spending and the Full Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and […]

Construction Spending Falls 0.3% in May after March and April Spending Revised

Construction Spending Falls 0.3% in May after March & April Spending Revised Higher, Commenter RJS, Marketwatch 666 The Census Bureau report on construction spending for May (pdf) estimated that May’s seasonally adjusted construction spending would work out to $1,545.3 billion annually if extrapolated over an entire year, which was 0.3 percent (±1.0 percent)* below the revised annualized estimate […]