Friday, January 6, 2017

Job Watch

This is Page 6

Trump vs Obama: pending.

Reagan vs Obama: job recovering following a recession. Reuters and Bloomberg keep telling us job growth is strong, but never seem to really back up that assertion.

The Magic Numbers (change with Trump administration -- see earlier pages for previous "magic numbers")
First time claims, unemployment benefits: 275,000 (> 250,000: economic stagnation)
New jobs: 150,000 (< 150,000 new jobs: economic stagnation)
Economists estimate the labor market needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, though estimates vary -- Reuters
For "first time claims," the mainstream media was consistently happy with first time claims ~ 275,000 under President Obama. In hindsight, the previous number of 400,000 seemed incredibly high.

For "new jobs," 125,000 will be the new "base." The final number under the Obama administration, was 156,000. Even though 156,000 was described as "tepid" by The New York Times, it was associated with economic growth. Now, June 2, 2017, Steve Liesman (and others) suggest that 121,000 is a fine number.

With both these numbers, the Fed under Janet Yellen felt comfortable raising "rates" for the first time in quite some time.

After about the first two years of posting these updates, it had become clear/obvious that the figures were often suspect, if not outright falsified. On November 18, 2013, it was reported that, indeed, unemployment figures have been falsified.
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
Take the numbers for what they are worth, I guess. Not much. Rick Santelli, CNBC, January 6, 2017, also suggested the numbers were suspect when the December jobs report, at 156,000, was incredibly bad, and yet unemployment number (4.7%) did not change.

Updates

August 17, 2017: dropped 12,000 to 232,000. Huge.

August 10, 2017: 244,000 today, up 3,000 from last week's 241,000 (revised upward by 1,000).

August 3, 2017: down 5,000 to 240,000 (last week revised up 1,000 to 245,000). Nothing mentioned about layoffs at auto manufacturers yet due to huge inventory buildup.

July 27, 2017: up 10,000 to 244,000 expecting 240,000; last week revised upward from 233,000 to 234,000

July 20, 2017: what just happened?
  • first time claims: down 15,000 to 233,000
  • not even mentioned on mainstream media
  • forecast: 245,000

July 13, 2017: 247,000. Down 3,000 from last week but last's 248,000 was revised up to 250,000.

July 7, 2017: US nonfarm payrolls total 222,000 in June; forecast, only 179,000.

July 6, 2017: first time in a long time, first time claims rose to 248,000; forecast for a dip to 243,000. Not a good report. News jobs report also "bad." Forecast for 185,000 jobs; actual, only 158,000. 

June 22, 2017: first time claims rise 3,000. Unremarkable.

June 15, 2017: first time claims fall more than expected; drop 8,000 to 237,000.

June 8, 2017: numbers here. Down 10,000 to 245,000. Still not a very good  number.

June 2, 2017: this might be the big story of the day, regarding jobs. Look at the "magic numbers." The number of jobs needed to maintain economic activity continues to come down according to pundits. Transitioning from the Obama to the Trump administration, the tea leaves suggested 150,000 new jobs each month was the "magic number."  But many economists (see above) suggested 125,000 was the "magic number." Now, today, Steve Liesman over at CNBC (and many concur), 121,000 is just fine. So, it looks like the new number is truly 125,000. I have updated the "magic number" above.

June 2, 2017: May's employment number disappoints; unemployment rate drops to 4.3%; but only 138,000 new jobs. Note magic number: 150,000.

June 1, 2017: huge miss; forecast 239K, an increase of only 2,000; in fact, a jump in first time unemployment claims, 248K; now, it turns out, revised upward to 255K 

May 25, 2017: slightly better than expected; 234,000 vs 237,000 forecast;

May 19, 2017: unemployment by state, April, 2017, numbers. 

May 11, 2017: new claims down 2,000 vs forecast of an increase of 3,000; initial claims at 236,000;

May 4, 2017: first time claims plunge; down 19,000. To 238,000.

May 3, 2017: 177,000 vs 175,000 -- weekly ADP report

April 20, 2017: increased more than expected; up 10,000, at 244,000.

April 13, 2017: declined 1,000; consensus: 243K; actual, 234K. 

April 7, 7, 2017: a really, really back employment report for March; only 98,000 jobs created; 150,000 "new" jobs are needed to avoid economic stagnation; this is a bad, bad report

April 6, 2017: biggest drop in nearly two years; better than expected; previous week revised up 1,000; most recent numbers: 234,000; four-week moving average: fell 5,000 to 250,000

April 5, 2017: jobs -- boom! ADP March numbers -- up 263,000. Forecast, 185,000.

March 30, 2017: last week's number revised upward to 261,000. This week's number, 258,000. That is a decrease of 3,000 but expectations were for a decrease of around 15,000 (which seems to be the new narrative under the Trump administration). The four-week moving average rose to 254,250, much higher than the previous report.

March 23, 2017: prior of 241,000 was revised to 243,000. Most recent numbers was 25,000, a horrendous increase of 15,000: this marks the first time above 250,000 in eight weeks. Four-week moving average is 240,000.

March 16, 2017: down 2,000 to 241,000. Unremarkable report. 

March 9, 2017 Jumps 20,000 to 243,000. Forecast for 238,000 from the prior week's reading of 223,000, the lowest count since March, 1973. Four-week moving average came in at 236,500, an uptick of 2,250.

March 8, 2017: ADP jobs report: much better than expected; 298,000 jobs added; much, much better than the 190,000 forecast. Market reacts; goes from red to green. Trump enthusiasm, Trump rally.

March 2, 2017: expectations were for claims to jump a bit; in fact, huge plunge; declined to 223,000; a drop of 19,000; 4-week average 234,250. 

February 23, 2017: last week revised to 238,000; new number, 244K; exactly as forecast; up 6,000; four-week average, 241,000. Revised to 242,000 (from 244,000).

February 16, 2017: 239,000 vs forecast of 245,000; four-week average, 245,250; also note this:
  • fewer than 240,000 for five out of last seven weeks (post-Trump election)
  • significant: claims had not gone below 240,000 even once from December, 1972, to December, 2016
February 9, 2017: unexpected plunge; drops 12,000; to multi-decade low; now down to 234,000 after expectations of 250,000; 4-week average down to 244,250; the Trump enthusiasm continues;

February 3, 2017: jobs report for January, 2017, blows away the estimates. Estimate was for 175,000 jobs added in January, 2017. Came in at 225,000 added jobs. Unemployment rate ticks up to 4.8% from 4.7% due to increased labor participation.

February 1, 2017: ADP: up 246,000! Forecast: private sector to add 160,000 jobs.

January 26, 2017: forecast way off; high end was an increase to 250,000; in fact surged well past that; up 22,000 to 259,000. CNBC talking head already getting ready to blame that dismal number on Trump. LOL. Four-week average at 245,500. 

January 19, 2017: first time claims plunged 15,000 to 234,000, just shy of the 233,000 level in mid-November (2016), the lowest since November, 1973. Four-week average also dropped 10,250 to 246,750.

January 12, 2017: first time claims surged by 10,000; economists forecast much worse; now at 255,000; four-week average fell 1,750 to 256,500. 

January 6, 2017: the December numbers are at page 5. New data on this page will begin next week.  

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