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2021-09-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 352 references
[Comments enabled]  

One wonders eh?

What do you labor for?

More to the point, if your employer unilaterally changes the terms are they anything other than this?

How much further can it be altered?


Unions, of course, make this (at least in theory) impossible because working terms and conditions are subject to collective bargaining.  If a union shop tries that they're begging for an immediate strike and lawsuit in response, as that is a clear violation of the contract that was negotiated.  While some judge may or may not uphold the unilateral nature of the change with very few exceptions there is nothing the judge can do about the strike.

Then again look at the conditioning on the other side.  While quite-literally now the "extra" unemployment and such is expiring what's nearly 18 months of that do to the work ethic?  Never mind closing and otherwise screwing daycare provision, which coupled with the rest has made a lot of two-parent families reconsider that second Lexus in the driveway.  Is it really worth it, when you take all the extra costs of the second person working, or should we say "screw that", dial back on both wants and needs which came about as a result of that second job, and one of us stays home and takes the kids out of the schools too?

The bonus for that, of course, is that you get rid of all the "critical race" crap and people telling your kids to pledge allegiance to the gay pride flag instead of the American flag at the same time.  Since school administrators won't put a stop to that garbage and in fact in many cases explicitly endorse it if you happen to believe that is crap, well...... 

On the other side you have employers playing games where they can.  Risk-based pricing for health insurance sounds good -- until it's used as a political cudgel.  That's illegal, by the way.  Guess what you get when you don't care about outrageous violations of the law in the health care system -- specifically 15 USC Chapter 1 -- that have been going on for decades with both provision of care and pharmaceuticals?

THISand guess who it victimizes (as if people needing insulin haven't seen this for decades themselves)?


It's not like it couldn't have been fixed 10+ years ago.  Or five years ago.  Or..... when Trump promised to largely fix it with three separate planks in his campaign platform, all of which disappeared on election night in 2016 and have never been seen again.

But.... but.... but..... Orange Man {Bad|God <-- Pick one}

People respond to incentives.  Employers, employees, ordinary people.  They also respond to threats, but often not in the way (meek compliance) the person issuing the threat would like.

So, is it worth laboring?

Or is it time to tell the employers to go screw goats and it will be on your terms that you labor?

For 50+ years, more-or-less, the pendulum has swung one way on this.

Perhaps it's starting to swing back.

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2021-09-03 09:20 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 1413 references
[Comments enabled]  

Someone's got some 'splaining to do.

Yes, the jobs report was "good" -- or was it?  Not really; the gross number was wildly below expectations.  Then again August is usually a firing month -- specifically, all the summer help from teens still in school typically are let go because they have to go back to High School.  That's normal.  In addition the "decline" in unemployment was from over a million people exiting the labor force, which mathematically makes the jobless rate fall -- it was not from net job additions, because in fact, on a non-adjusted basis over 300,000 jobs were lost.

What's not normal is what's showing up here.


This has never happened before across more than 20 years.  I have this data table going back to 1999.

What you're looking at is the rolling 12-month non-institutionalized population 16 years of age and older.  It has fluctuated from time to time as little baby "booms" and "busts" occur, and aligned very closely in that regard with good and bad economic conditions generally (no surprise) with a 16-17 year lag.  Why?  Because it takes 9 months to make a child and then 16 before they show up in this number.

16-17 years ago we were exiting the nasty tech wreck.  It was "the best of times", to put it mildly.  Jobs were plentiful, the economy was roaring back post 9/11 stimulus, and life was good.  Very good, in fact; we were just entering the housing bubble boom with stocks and all other manner of economic "progress", as perceived by people, in a never been better state of mind.

So no, people didn't decide not to have sex for the benefit of children during that period.  To the contrary; they screwed like rabbits, as has repeatedly been demonstrated in this table.

Once you reach 16 years of age there are only three ways you get out of this count:

1. You become institutionalized; that means prison or a nursing home.

2. You leave the United States entirely.  That's not happening, net-net, is it?  Southern border anyone?

3. You DIE.

Those are the only three ways.

What did we start doing in January of 2021 that might have impacted one of those three?

Again -- good economy, bad economy, look back 16-17 years and the correlation is clear -- but at no time back to 1999 can you find a time when that 12-month rolling figure has gone under 1 million.  It has never happened before in the modern era.

Oh, there's another problem: Employment in health care was flat.  So much for being "prepared" or "hiring" into a surge of demand for said services!  Uh, what seems to be the problem there and is policy and forced terminations for refusal to comply playing into that, net-net?  It sure looks like it to me when for the last several years the average monthly add in health care has been about 30,000 jobs per month.

Between these two you have a BIG red flashing light folks, any time you get something that has never occurred before it automatically goes into the "heh, that's not cool" bucket and, if we had honest people in the media there would be a lot of folks trying to get the "why" question answered in a defensible and documented fashion.

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2018-10-05 08:51 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 290 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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