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

The Employment Situation

   Although the July employment report was weaker than expected, it was still in line with recent experiences. The household survey reported employment gains of 204,000 while the payroll report showed a gain of 162,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 2 cents to $23.98, following a […]

Employment Situation

The headline numbers in the employment report were very weak as  payroll employment rose by only 88,000  and the household survey reported a -206,000 drop in employment while the labor force fell by -496,000.  The futures markets are reacting very badly.  But the workweek expanded and aggregrate hours worked increased 0.3% as compared to 0.5% […]

The Great Recession captured in 1 minute of comedy

Just watch this.  It is 1 minute long. Could it be anymore surreal? HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS? HOW MANY FREAKIN’ TIMES DO WE HAVE TO LEARN THE LESSON? Obviously, the lesson has not been relearned since at least sometime before 1992.  If it had been relearned, we would not be […]


At first glance the December employment report shows that the trends throughout 2012 were unchanged in December.  But within the report there were some greater signs of strength. Private payroll employment showed a gain of 155,000 and the household survey reported a much smaller gain of only 28,000.  These changes are about the same  as […]

The Employment Situation

The employment report was better than expected as Sandy apparently did not have the widely expected negative impact.  But the data essentially shows that the recent trend of weak employment continued as payrolls expanded some 146,000 and the household survey showed a -122,00 drop. Private payrolls expanded some  147,00 as government employment fell about 1,000.  […]

The Employment Situation

This was another mixed employment report.  The headline increase of 171,000 increase in payroll employment and 410,000 rise in employment reported in the household survey appeared strong.  But  other signs of weakness appeared within the report. The 184,000 increase in private payroll employment was the strongest since February. The unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 […]

Employment Situation

The August employment report shows the economy continuing with its very sluggish pace. Although the unemployment rate fell it was due more to a contracting labor force rather than expanding employment. The household survey showed a drop of some 119,000 while the payroll or headline data increased only 96,000 — private rose 103,000 while government […]

Mixed Messages on employment situation

Some other insights on the data in addition to Angry Bear Spencer England: Mixed Message on the Labor Front BLS released its Employment Situation Summary for July. The payroll survey showed an increase in employment of $163 thousand but that unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. So what was the deal from the household survey? Actually […]