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

May JOLTS report: a significant deceleration in the underlying jobs market has likely begun

May JOLTS report: a significant deceleration in the underlying jobs market has likely begun Late last year I introduced the idea that the jobs market was similar to a game of musical chairs, where employers added or took away chairs, and employees tried to best allocate themselves among the chairs.  Because of the pandemic, several […]

Another strong showing for jobs and unemployment; strong wage growth likely lags inflation

March jobs report: yet another strong showing for jobs and unemployment; while strong wage growth nevertheless likely lags inflation Here are the three main trends I was most interested in this month: 1. Is the pace of job growth beginning to decelerate?  2. Is wage growth holding up? Is it accelerating? 3. Are the leading […]

February jobs report: a Big Win!

February jobs report: a Big Win! There were two main trends I was looking for in this jobs report:  1. Is the pace of job growth beginning to decelerate?  2. Is wage growth holding up? Is it accelerating? The answers were: 1. The 6-month average of monthly gains, which was running at 548,000 in the 2nd […]

Another excellent job report

January jobs report: huge gain in wages, huge upward revisions to past few months, limited Omicron impact Here are the three issues I was looking to see addressed in this jobs report: 1. Would last month’s “poor” 199,000 number of new jobs be revised higher? 2. Is wage growth holding up? Is it accelerating?3. In December, big […]

October JOLTS report: at least the jobs market isn’t getting any worse in disequilibrium

October JOLTS report: at least the jobs market isn’t getting any worse in disequilibrium The JOLTS report for October was released this morning. While it did not indicate any significant progress towards a new labor equilibrium, at least the trends did not get any more destabilized. Job openings (blue in the graph below) increased to […]

August retail sales rebound slightly, argue for continued strong jobs growth in autumn

August retail sales rebound slightly, argue for continued strong jobs growth in autumn Let’s take a look at retail sales, which are perhaps my favorite monthly economic indicator, since they tell us so much about average consumer behavior, and are also a good short leading indicator for jobs.Nominally retail sales increased 0.7% for August, after […]

March JOLTS report confirms that month’s strong jobs report

March JOLTS report confirms that month’s strong jobs report This morning’s JOLTS report for March confirmed that month’s stellar jobs report. Job openings made a new series high, while layoffs and discharges made a new series low. Hires, quits, and total separations all also moved in the right direction.This report has only a 20 year […]

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 […]