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2022-06-03 09:12 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 472 references
[Comments enabled]  

So screameth the Bureau of Lies and Scams:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 390,000 in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail trade declined.

Hmmm.... better than expected, so say the various hollering ninnies.

Let's take a look inside.

What we find from the unadjusted household numbers, which is all I ever use for gross-level comparisons, is that we had 618,000 more jobs this month than last.  However, virtually all of them (589,000) came from formerly not in labor force people; in other words, people who we "lost count" of and then showed back up.  A job is a job, but the gross adds from unemployed but looking were very small -- only about 29,000 people.  Hmmmm...

The 12 month run rate for non-civilian population has remained at its former baseline; the discontinuity seen through most of 2021, which I noted was "corrected" in January, has not returned.  Yet, anyway.  That's good.

Among educational achievement there was little or no benefit in the middle; the "barbell" problem remains as I've noted for years.  That is, those with at least a Bachelors or no High School diploma gained -- everyone in the middle either got nothing or lost ground.  That's BAD as it basically means there is no middle class, and this has been going on for a very long time.  In short the pre-pandemic mode of operation for American business has resumed; slave wages are available, forcing people through college to earn slave wages still is in force, and being in the middle means losing.  This is not sustainable nor healthy for the nation but nobody's done anything about it and nobody likely will, so there you are.  As an anecdote is that a "major" manufacturer of networking gear related to an associate that their idea of "starting" wages were in the $40-50k range.  That's what someone got with a modest (but real) level of experience thirty years ago -- me, as just one example.  How much was a house back then?  How much was a new car?  How much was health coverage?  Are any of those less than twice as expensive?  Why would you go to college and pursue such a degree when there's no return on investment and you can make as much  or more if you can pass a******test driving a forklift -- with no college debt!  Because you can, you know; $20/hr with overtime, which salaried positions of course do not pay, can be had nearly anywhere doing exactly that.

The workweek was unchanged but among goods-producing it was up one tick and down one service-producing.  Net-net its a zero, and the workweek is a huge mover; one tick is worth about 500,000 jobs, more or less.  No distortion in that number this time around.

Wages are up 4.9% over the year which confirms the other data while inflation is running 10%+ so the average American schlub is losing about 5% a year, compounded, in their purchasing power.  Anyone who thinks that is sustainable has rocks in their head.  The only bright spot is, believe it or not, leisure and hospitality workers, who are some of the worst-paid, and have seen about a 9% increase in compensation over the last year.

Bottom line: No recession in this data -- yet -- but it will come, as surely as night follows day given the lack of people being able to keep up with the inflationary pressure.  We're seeing that in other areas of the economy as well by means of confirmation (e.g. extreme increases in revolving credit balances) and that wall should get hit right around.... oh, just in front of the midterm elections.

Here it comes.

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2018-10-05 08:51 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 331 references

This is a bad number -- especially on the back of last month's report.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 134,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

This is utterly nasty and the drop in the unemployment rate is entirely due to an increase in the NILF figure -- people who have left the workforce.

Let's look inside:


In a word: Meh.

The 12 month change is below 2m.  The rate has been over 2m for roughly the last year, but now it is solidly below.  That's bad news, because the increase in working-age population is approximately 2 million, so if you can't manage to put up that number on a 12 month rolling basis you are losing ground.


Heh, look at that "formal unemployment rate" -- it's a multi-generational low.  But does it mean anything?

Not really since there the employment:population ratio is nowhere near the 1969 figures.  Having an "unemployment rate" that is extremely low because people aren't looking for jobs but are either sucking off public assistance or otherwise out of the workforce isn't positive -- it's negative since only working people pay taxes.

Have you looked at the annualized "debt to the penny" figures lately?  No?  Well maybe you should.  I'll help you out with that in the next few days in my usual annual report on exactly how much bull**** Washington DC has emitted into the "economy" and thus the fraud embedded in the GDP "expansion" rate.

Once again having a Bachelors or better did not outperform; all of the educational categories gained, but both high school dropouts and degree-holders managed one tick of advancement.  "Some College" and High School graduates both gained more, however, meaning that once again we are making McJobs and not, as is often said, positions for the "highly educated."

There are also indications of slack in the part-time statistics but this month I ignore them because of Florence.  If they persist into next month, however, they are likely an early indication of a negative turn in the economy and employment situation.

We shall see.

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