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

Employment Situation

This report is now adjusted to show the impact of the population control adjustment. The employment report was the strongest this cycle with payroll employment rising 243,000. The household survey shows a gain of 843,000 but almost 250,000 of that is due to the new population adjustments so the net result is an increase of […]

Employment Situation

The employment report shows signs of an improved employment situation, but on balance it looks like more of the same. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 points to 8.5%. This continues the recent trend of a falling unemployment rate. But the drop was also driven by anther 50,000 drop in thelabor force. But the increase in […]

Employment Situation…Spencer England

The employment report continues to report a sluggish economy and employment growth. The payroll report showed a gain of 120,000 jobs in November, consisting of a 140,000 gain in private payrolls and a 20,000 drop in government employment. The household survey months showed the stronger gains it has in recent with a gain of some […]

Economic Perspectives

If you are an investor the good news is that productivity growth improved sharply. Unit labor cost fell in the third quarter and the spread between pricing and labor cost widened nicely. This implies that earnings growth is accelerating and that my earlier fears that earnings expectations were too high is no longer a problem. […]

Employment Situation

The employment report showed little evidence that the trends of the past year have changed.Over the past three months private payroll employment grew some 72,000, 191,000 and 104,000while government employment fell 132,000, 33,000 and 24,000. The one encouraging signs was the third strong month of employment growth reported in the household survey. Over the last […]

NYT Americas Exploding Pipe Dream

This from today’s Times. America’s Exploding Pipe Dream By CHARLES M. BLOW We are slowly — and painfully — being forced to realize that we are no longer the America of our imaginations. Our greatness was not enshrined. Being a world leader is less about destiny than focused determination, and it is there that […]

Employment Situation

The September employment report was among the strongest this cycle. Private payroll employment rose 137,000 and despite the 34,000 drop in government employment totalpayroll employment rose 103,000. Moreover, the household survey showed a gain of 398,000.Even so, by historic norms employment continues to be weak. But compared to the other jobless recoveries this cycle continues […]

Lifted from comments

Lifted from comments on the housing situation by Spencer…Housing vs. Household formation. Of course the point also being…what is going to be the source of growth for US citizens? kharris comments and adds another contributing factor on the housing market: …Banks already have pretty nearly all the housing assets they care to have, thank you […]


The current low level of long term interest rates is creating all types of debate about what it is suppose to signify and what investors are discounting. Maybe they are not signaling anything and it is just a return to normal for interest rates. For example, from 1871 to 1960 long Treasuries were below 4% […]