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2018-02-02 09:31 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 174 references
[Comments enabled]  

So screams the headline:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

Well, that doesn't sound so bad.  What's the inside look like?

As expected, January was a firing month; the non-adjusted figures show a drop in employment of 754,000.  This is normal, I remind you, since January is when all the seasonal workers from this holiday called "Christmas" are let go, and of course instead of reporting actual numbers the Bureau of Lies and Scams applies their "seasonal adjustments" so as to make it all sound better.  Over the last year, however, the unadjusted numbers show 2.3 million jobs added, which doesn't sound too bad at all, until you realize that 600,000 of them, more or less, were split between extraction in the "health care" ripoff and places to get drunk.  At least the latter, when you hand over your money, is both voluntary and pleasurable.

Of note 513,000 people gave up last month, adding to the not in labor force figure.  On a 12-month basis that's added 1.3 million parasites to the economy, many of whom are collecting "disability" checks while running marathons.

used to print this chart every month but stopped because nobody cared.  It's the truth, however, when adjusted for population and yet those cheerleading for various "job gains" on both sides of the political aisle have never, in my roughly 10- year history of publishing this series every month, held any elected official to account for it.  You can see that in the 2017 year Trump did enjoy a few months of positive rate-of-change figures on this basis, remembering that it's a 12-month rolling figure, and thus has zero sensitivity to so-called "seasonal adjustments" (in other words, the BLS can't lie their way out of this one for political purposes and neither can a candidate or office-holder.)  However, what is also clear is that there were massive and perhaps intentional distortions in the data over the last 12 months because with the annual adjustments we now know the run rate is in fact negative -- that is, THERE HAS BEEN AN ACTUAL RATE OF JOB LOSS OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS WHEN POPULATION EXPANSION IS CONSIDERED.

In other words the bad news and fact is that with the adjustments (see below for an explanation) on a 12-month basis the economy actually lost 377,000 jobs when one takes into account rising population.  The math on this is the 12-month change in employed people less the change in civilian non-institutional and working age population change.

This also showed up in the employment:population ratio which dropped by five ticks to 59.5% last month.  This usually drops in January as well due to seasonal firing.

So where were the drivers in the "job gains" last mointh?  As usual, food and drinking places and hospitals, where 13,000 almost all non-care-giving people were employed.  Parasites, all of them, and you're billed for it.  What's better, you cheer it on in the name of a "good economy" even though their "employment" is extracted from you by force.  What better way to do something than to screw someone and get thanked for it.

Other major industries?  No change of note.  So much for the so-called "hiring" from the Trump tax cuts.

And while average hourly earnings rose (a relatively-impressive 2.9% on a 12 month basis) hours worked fell by 0.2, which is a $5.34 decrease in actual earnings per week. That did not cancel the entire 2.9% gain for the year but it sure blunted it -- and completely buried last month's paltry few-cent-an-hour gain in hourly wage. In other words despite Trump's claims actual pay went down last month -- not up from his "massive" tax cuts.

What's much worse is that the McJob category, you know, people being abused in Amazon warehouses, registered a huge gain of 7 ticks in participation rate (those with less than a high school diploma in education.)  Everyone else lost; high school grads lost five ticks, those with some college lost four, and those who got raped with $100,000 in student loans lost one.

So much for "good jobs" and Trump's blatant lies about the job market and impact of his policies; the only people who gained on a net basis last month are those who didn't finish high school.

This month, as you should know if you've followed this report, is adjustment month, which means all the internals are expected to be a bit wonky -- and they were.  Among other things the population was revised up by nearly half a million people, which is a pretty big change and a hell of an error band -- over 40,000 people per month.  Oh by the way, you gotta love the distribution the BLS has on that -- of the 488,000 they added, 328,000 of them are Hispanic.  Illegal invaders anyone?  And, may I note, that the BLS double-counts (intentionally) as, in their own words, "Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race."


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