Friday, June 7, 2019

Unemployment Rate For May, 2019, Remains At 50-Year Low -- June 7, 2019

Jobs, from CNBC:
  • Nonfarm payrolls for May increased up by just 75,000, the Labor Department says.
  • Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a gain of 180,000.
  • March’s job count was revised lower from 189,000 to 153,000 and the April number was lowered to 224,000 from 263,000, for a total reduction of 75,000.
  • The unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low of 3.6%.
  • Average hourly earnings year over year in May were up 3.1%, one-tenth of a point lower than expectations.
It would be interesting to see analysis of the jobs report. For months we've been hearing that so many folks joining the workplace, that the US is running out of workers. Hmmm... the fact that May payrolls up only 75,000 suggests there may be some truth to that ...I would assume the "southern surge" folks being hired are kept "off the books." More than a million folks came across the border illegally in the last twelve months.

Drudge teased with "wage increases cool...." LOL. Hourly earnings were up 3.1% year-over-year, just a tenth of a point off the consensus.

CNBC said that "stock futures fell" after the report ... in fact, the Dow is up another 175 points today after several days of huge gains.

There is talk that the Fed could lower rates this month (June, 2019) and some folks even think the Fed could entertain a third rate cut in December, 2019.

By the way, wholesalers and retailers are now going to trade shows and putting in orders for the Christmas holidays. The China trade issue continues. It will be interesting to see how Christmas, 2019, sales play out. My hunch: better than ever.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. I am inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken and similarly inappropriate bullish about America. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

The Book Page

The Life of Graham Greene, Volume II, 1939 - 1955, Norman Sherry, c. 1994. I have an autographed edition.

The war years in England. Reminds me how good we have it here in the US. Helps put everything in perspective.

The London blitz began September 30, 1940:
  • 1,300 German bombers
  • escorted by 600 fighters
  • began at 5:00 p.m.; went until 4:00 a.m. the next morning
  • seventy-six (76) consecutive devastating raids
  • united London like nothing before
  • London was empty; folks had evacuated weeks (and, in some cases, months) earlier
  • those still left in London, lived out their nights underground
  • all along the walls, bodies laid two deep
  • after a month of aerial war, "it" became routine; same groups of people in the same "tubes"
  • at first, they waited to make tea after the initial bombing; later, they were so used to "close calls," they simply made tea at 9:00 p.m.; tea and biscuits at 9:00 p.m. -- everyone paid a penny and took turns supplying the tea and sugar; lights were shaded at 10:00 p.m.; snorers ceased to arouse angry feelings -- toleration developed
  • April 16, 1941: central London experienced its worst raid
  • referred to "The Wednesday"
  • in one night, 2,000 civilians died
  • 100,000 homes destroyed
 That evening:
When the air-raid siren went on 16 April, [Graham] Greene and [his mistress] Dorothy were having a drink in the Horsehoe. Leaving the pub, they went to Frascati's and then to Victor's, hoping to have dinner before the raid got under way, but both [Frascati's and Victor's] were closed. They ended up in Czardas, sitting apprehensively next to plate-glass windows. An hour into the raid, bursting bombs in Piccadilly shook the restaurant in Dean Street, and they left, walking back to the home they shared in Gower Mews. Dorothy was on duty fire-watching and Greene went with her to her post on the roof of a garage. Before they reached the garage, they saw flares from enemy planes drifting down "like great yellow peonies." 
In spite of the severity of the raid, in all that terrible night, Greene met only one person who lost his nerve ... and he was a foreigner.

New words:
  • susurrus: although I have come across that word once before; I don't remember where
  • casuistical: related to sophistry, but the former is more "theological" than the latter; a reader suggests Bill Clinton's answer, "It depends on the definition of 'is' as a great example of casuistical. 



    1. Huge thanks. I had not seen that. And it was the Ninth Circuit Court. Wow, a decision based on law and not politics?

  2. a 30 second caveat on the jobs report: to my recall, April was the 2nd warmest April on record, so construction & other spring work got an earlier than normal start…on the other hand, May saw half the country blown away or flooded out, the 2nd wettest May on record, with US temperatures in the bottom third of the historical average…those factors do not show up in the seasonal adjusted jobs data, which assumes seasonal weather…also remember the establishment survey only counts "non-farm payrolls", and doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands in the Midwest who are sitting on their hands because the fields are too wet to work…

    1. You are so correct. It is interesting how the headlines by the mainstream media can make all the difference in the world; how headlines can skew the entire story. When I saw the links at Drudge and the headlines at CNBC I thought things had really taken a turn for the worse. But, like you, once I started reflecting on the entire mosaic, I realized that, actually, the numbers were pretty good. In fact, again, it was only because the actual numbers were so far off from the consensus forecast that the story got the headline(s) that it did. The headline suggested something significant, and I'm sure the pundits talked about it all day long (I do not watch any televised business news) but in the end, as another writer might put it, the story was a nothing-burger.