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Tag Archives: jolts

Consistent Trade War Inconsistency Hides The Consistent Trend

You can see the pattern, a weathervane of sorts in its own right. Not for how the economy is actually going, mind you, more along the lines of how it is being perceived from the high-level perspective. The green light for “trade wars” in the first place was what Janet Yellen and Jay Powell had said about the economy. Because it was strong and accelerating, they said, the Trump administration gambled that such robust growth would insulate the US system from any fallout. Flush with confidence...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Doom & Gloom, Good Grief

When I first got in this business oh-so-many years ago, my mentor told me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about the things everyone else was worrying about. As I’ve related in these missives before, he called those things “well-worried”. His point was that once everyone was aware of something it was priced into the market and not worth your time. That has proven to be valuable advice over the years and I think still relevant today. We continue to hear, on an...

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From JOLTS Series Shift To Series of Rate Cuts

I’ve said all along that they would be dragged into them kicking and screaming. After all, the Federal Reserve undertook its last rate hike in December 2018 – just as the markets were making clear he was completely mistaken in his view of the economy. What followed was the ridiculous “Fed pause” which pretty much everyone outside of the central bank and the Economics profession knew wasn’t the end of it. You know the story. When he finally gave in at the end of July, the Federal Reserve...

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Labor Data Dependent

Right now, everything comes down to the labor market. Does the US economy hang on despite stubborn and evidently non-transitory overseas turmoil cross currents? Or do American consumers rightly confident of the economic situation re-assert themselves via their wallets and deliriously spend the economy back on track? You better believe Fed Chairman Jay Powell will be watching the data very closely. If there is one thing which will move policymakers more than a plunge at the NYSE, it would be...

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Weakening Labor Market Now In All The Data

The JOLTS series had always been a seemingly superfluous set of labor numbers for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency wanted to go deeper into employment when it originally presented these other series in 2002. The unemployment rate seemed accurate enough, but it came at the labor market solely from the view of labor supply. As the BLS said of its new set of figures in their initial publication: The number of unfilled jobs—used to calculate the job openings rate—is an important...

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The Unemployment Rate Has Been Left Even Lonelier

The unemployment rate has been maybe the loneliest of numbers. That didn’t quite mean it was entirely alone. Of the major economic accounts, only the JOLTS series and only one part of that series suggested the big mainstream employment indicator was anywhere close to accurate. Job Openings (JO) have been surging as if companies are in high demand for new labor. It has therefore been widely cited. Or, more accurately, it had been surging. It is no longer as widely cited. The level of JO has...

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Labor Slowdown Already; Another Account Falls In Line of May 29

May 29. May 29. May 29. It keeps showing up everywhere. Not only does it appear as an inflection on so many important market charts, we keep finding it in economic accounts, too. There is so much to corroborate what can only have been a real and striking event. This contrasts, of course, with the mainstream narrative. Last year the US economy in particular was incredibly strong. Or, that’s how it was described even after that date. At one point, referring specifically to May 29, the FOMC...

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US Labor Demand Soars, Or Sours

JOLTS is at it again. The most-watched piece, Job Openings, has been surging. Ostensibly an attempt to measure the demand for labor in the private economy, the BLS figures that US businesses are in the market for whole lot of new workers. Given rising worries throughout the uncertainty of 2018, JOLTS JO has been used as a steady counterpoint. This isn’t the first time. The level of Job Openings leaped in 2014, too. As economic uneasiness built through the end of that year and then...

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Another ‘Highest In Ten Years’

Upon the precipice of the Great “Recession”, US workers were cushioned to some extent by what economists call sticky wages. Before the Great Depression, as well as during it, companies would attempt to deal with looming economic contraction by cutting pay rates before workers. Nowadays, the intent is reversed; businesses will try to keep core workers by keeping pay rates as steady as possible while instead shedding extraneous employees at potentially a furious pace (see: 2008-09). The Bureau...

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Bond JOLTS Without Wages To Back Just JO

In the absence of a booming economy, one has been conjured from a select few employment statistics. The catalog, beginning in 2014, consisted of a rapidly falling unemployment rate, the Establishment Survey which dazzled with headline payroll growth supposedly adding up to the “best jobs market in decades”, and the JOLTS series but curiously omitting everything but the Job Openings piece. Over the years since, the middle one has been quietly scratched from the list. That leaves the...

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