The Strange Nature of the U.S. Economic Recovery Seen in State-by-State Employment Trends

Calculated Risk has a nice chart up that helps to illustrate the ultra-unusual nature of the post-Great Recession business expansion (LINK).  This chart focuses heavily on employment statistics rather than gross state production.

The United States has not experienced this sort of volatility in employment trends during an (alleged) business expansion.  This time [...]


Today’s Employment Report Changes Little

The BLS has reported the employment report for November (LINK).  The markets are taking this bullishly, as the jobs gains were modestly above consensus.  There are flies in that ointment; the report looks mostly like a “nothingburger”.  

Once again, the 25-54 age groups, and sub-groups within that age range, showed no job growth year [...]


A Tweet Too Far? A Look At Unemployment Numbers

Former GE CEO Jack Welch recently ignited a firestorm over his ‘tweet’ that the US September labour market data appeared to have been manipulated for political reasons. Indeed, there were some curiosities in that particular report, but they hardly end there. The fact is, much official US data are misleading in some way, if not [...]


Evidence of a Manufacturing Downturn Is Hiding in Plain Sight in Today’s Employment Report

One unfortunate detail that I have not seen discussed yet from today’s BLS employment report(s) comes from the “Establishment” survey.  Here’s a LINK.  If you scroll to page 5 (Summary table B) and go to the very last line, you will find the one-month diffusion index for the manufacturing sector of the economy.  This comprises 81 separate industries [...]


Unemployment: EZ Chart

Apropos of all the claims about unemployment floating around the Republican and Democrat conventions, here is a handy chart:



The Unemployment Charade Or, Ignore The Headlines

While employment rose by 160,000 jobs in July, the overall unemployment rate remained at 8.3%.1 “Hurrah” is not the correct response to these data. (“Hurrah” is the response seen the most in the MSM.) First, the trends:

The payrolls chart (right) reveals a largely flat trend for the past year, which says that job [...]


Poverty Highest Since 1965

In Sunday’s USA Today there was an article on what is seen as growing poverty in America:

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, [...]


No Jobs: The Result of Wizard of Oz Economics

Recent economic data, and especially today’s unemployment numbers reveal the powerlessness of the Fed in the face of underlying economic problems that they fail to understand. The Fed has tried every trick in the book for the past 4 years to revive the economy only to see it continue to weaken. Unfortunately they only know [...]


Unnatural Disasters: Jobs, Wages, And Savings

The employment numbers that came out today (Friday) were very bad and caught most economists and analysts by surprise. Nothing the Fed has done has worked. Once again the ranks of the unemployed grow, wages flatten out, manufacturing weakens, GDP declines, and savings are spent to maintain lifestyles. The U.S. and much of the rest [...]


Germany Ignored Conventional Economic Wisdom And Now Look At Them …

To put things in perspective, here is today’s chart on unemployment among OECD countries. 

Note that this chart does not reflect overall unemployment rates, but rather the percentage of decline post Crash. To see those statistics, go here.

Here is a rhetorical question. Why did Germany have employment growth even [...]


Jobs And JOLTS For March

New jobless claims continued their see-saw trend, this week heading down, slightly, to 367,000 new claims vs. 368,000 the week before. Here is the trend:

Last week’s employment report was much more negative in that unemployment actually rose, if you consider the shrinking labor force because of labor dropouts–people who gave up looking.