The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Employment]
2017-01-06 07:59 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 221 references
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The immediate snark on CNBS -- complete with claims that the survey is "flawed", maybe even politically-biased -- showed up with the release of this number.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in health care and social assistance.

Or did it?

Not according to the household survey it didn't.

By the household survey, unadjusted, employment fell by 587,000 jobs!

Now let's be fair -- this month (December) usually has a decline.  Why?  Seasonal hiring is over and seasonal firing has begun.  In fact, don't be surprised if next month's number (January figures) show a much larger negative print in the household survey.

The employment:population ratio turned down; that is not uncommon for this time of year either.  We'll see if that's the usual seasonal dip or if we've topped out.

The annualized figures show that against population growth in the last year the economy lost 711,000 jobs.  That is, the number of working-age people grew 711,000 more than the number of employed people increased.

The more-troubling figure in this report is that NILF -- "not in labor force" -- ticked up quite substantially (by 685,000) and in fact is up by about 3 million people since July.  That's not a good number at all as those are people who have left the workforce but are able to work -- either they have given up or gone on the dole intentionally.

The average workweek was mostly unchanged and hourly earnings were up 2.9% for the year.  That would sound good if the inflation figures actually met reality, but they don't.  If we use monetary inflation instead then once again the American Worker lost ground; with an actual federal debt increase of $1.4 trillion last fiscal year the monetary inflation in the system attributable to the Federal Government was 7.5% last year, so the average worker lost 4.5% of their purchasing power.

The employment-population ratio ticked down for all educational groups last month.  You got hurt more if you have less than a high school diploma but every other quartile got hit by three tenths of a point.  So much for the "wonderful value" in a college degree that our youth (and their families) have peddled to them, complete with ever-escalating cost and debt.

Sold to you.

The market didn't seem to mind any of this; it usually doesn't, even though the documented (by our own government's statistics!) purchasing power destruction ought to be good for a 2,000 point DOW sell-off.  Then again I suppose as long as the government runs the "educational debt" card up and as long as the population continues to buy more crap than they can afford with credit they can't pay back from a government that continues to destroy their standard of living, well, the stock market will continue to cheer.  Thank a bankster the next time you see one for however long it lasts.

Remember that next month the usual distortions in the form of annual adjustments will be made, so it may be difficult to factor those out -- we'll see.  Some years it turns the January report into mush, and others it doesn't.

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