The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.
This is an interesting report; the raw figure is close to estimates but the drop of 0.3% in the unemployment rate is sizable and generally larger than the seasonal change would anticipate.
Let's have a look at the unadjusted survey numbers (if you believe them, which is an entirely different discussion.)
There's a notable uptick in this month's data on an annualized basis. That's unmistakably good.
Unfortunately when it comes to the employment:population ratio the news is less enlightening. While there is a tiny little uptick in that ratio (0.2%) it remains mired in the dirt, and as you know from reading me this is the ratio that matters in the intermediate and longer term because only working people pay taxes. There is no joy to be found here.
The "why" is found here -- when one corrects for population growth on an annualized basis we're still not really in recovery. But that's the problem that nobody will address -- dependence and the 20+ year pattern of increase in that regard. The markets like to ignore this reality and you will never see this chart presented in the mainstream media but it is the only honest presentation of the data you can make since the workforce is, of course, the divisor.
Finally, let's look at what the employment-population ratio says in comparison to the "reported" unemployment rate:
Yeah, ok -- one's a claim, the other (the red line) is a count.
Which one's right?
In the week ending November 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 298,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 321,000. The 4-week moving average was 322,250, a decrease of 10,750 from the previous week's revised average of 333,000.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 313,973 in the week ending November 30, a decrease of 54,507 from the previous week. There were 500,163 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
500k last year?!
Now look at this:
Jesus.... right into survey week.
Tomorrow's NFP report will certainly be interesting.... especially the household survey.
Note: DOL had last week's report out for a while -- my bad.
Private-sector employment increased by 215,000 from October to November, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Small businesses (1-49 employees) +102,000
Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +48,000
Large businesses (500 or more employees) +65,000
The other interesting "fact" was that ADP also revised up its last month report from 130k to 184k. That's a ridiculous error rate, and calls into question exactly what was going on there. They wouldn't be making things up, would they?
Note, however, that compared against last November the number (which contains a lot of seasonal -- that is, Christmas -- temporary hiring) stunk -- ADP reported +276k last year in the same month.
In the usual "good news is bad news" reaction the market appears to think that there is now a taper risk for this month and as a result there's a nice little selloff in the futures.
In the week ending November 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 316,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 326,000. The 4-week moving average was 331,750, a decrease of 7,500 from the previous week's revised average of 339,250.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 363,053 in the week ending November 23, an increase of 37,229 from the previous week. There were 358,869 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
How very interesting. Against a year-ago figure claims are actually up. But but but seasonal adjustments made them look great, although the adjustment gave us a delta of nearly 50,000.
What's equally-interesting is the table under the press release.
If it's a seasonal adjustment (and not "whatever Obama wants us to report" adjustment) can you explain why in the same week for the prior year the difference between the un-adjusted and adjusted figure was 0.4% last year and this year it's zero?
Did the seasons magically change from one year to the next or are the "adjustments" simply a game of "dial-a-knob" for low-information voters and idiot mainstream media economic "analysts"?
I'm sure The Department of Lies (DOL) has a perfectly valid explanation for this, uh, "disparity"......
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing, and health care.
Well now, so much for the "government shutdown." Can I vote for one all the time given this result?
Let's look at the household numbers, because when you do this report is a disaster and in fact is now saying we're on the cusp of a recession if not already in one.
Note the annualized rate of change. It is on the cusp of going negative and that has a high correlation with recession.
The total number of employed people decreased on a month-by-month basis. The trend may be up, but not by much.
The employment rate of the population is following the same pattern of the last four years, and is declining again. This is a flat-line -- there has been no improvement since 2009.
Population-adjusted, the employment situation took a steep header this month.
Temporary layoffs went up by about 300,000, but all other loser categories decreased. So much for the "terrible" federal shutdown -- the facts say it was good for the economy, not bad.
The workweek was unchanged and average hourly earnings were up 2 cents. Among production employees average workweek hours were down a tenth to 33.6. Neither of these figures are particularly significant.
This is a crap report on the facts, but it says that the screaming about the government shutdown was not bad, it was on-balance good. The market is taking it quite negatively -- whether that's because the screaming about the government shutdown has been disproved or whether it's because on any sort of dispassionate look this is a recession print is an open question.
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