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Tag Archives: Labor Market

Isn’t the Labor Shortage Transitory?

Overview:  The major central banks have successfully pushed back against the aggressive tightening the market had discounted.  The Bank of England's decision not to raise rates after key officials seemed to suggest one was imminent. On the heels of what we argued was a dovish tapering announcement by the Fed, it spurred a dramatic decline in short and long-term interest rates. The drop in UK rates--21 bp in the 2-year and nearly 14 bp in the 10-year is the largest in several years.  The...

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Isn’t the Labor Shortage Transitory?

Overview:  The major central banks have successfully pushed back against the aggressive tightening the market had discounted.  The Bank of England's decision not to raise rates after key officials seemed to suggest one was imminent. On the heels of what we argued was a dovish tapering announcement by the Fed, it spurred a dramatic decline in short and long-term interest rates. The drop in UK rates--21 bp in the 2-year and nearly 14 bp in the 10-year is the largest in several years.  The...

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Retracing The Yield Gap For The Unemployment Rate Isn’t The Same Thing

Thomas Barkin is President and CEO of the Federal Reserve’s Fifth District branch headquartered in Richmond. Beginning the job during the tumultuous and confusing 2018 (for those wherever at the Fed), Barkin in 2021 is and has been a voting FOMC member. Whether he is judged a “hawk”, “dove”, or some other kind of feathering maniac I’d leave to the mainstream’s infatuation with Greenspan and Volcker legends. It isn’t actually important.On the contrary, the flattening yield curve particularly...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Perception vs Reality

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities   Some see the cup as half empty. Some see the cup as half full. I see the cup as too large. George Carlin   The quote from Dickens above is one that just about everyone knows even if they don’t know where it comes from or haven’t read the book. But, as the ellipsis at the end indicates, there is quite a bit more to the line than the part everyone remembers. It was the best...

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Taper Math, Lazy Labor Slander

The number of Job Openings for the month of July were revised upward, the BLS now thinking there had been more than 11 million of them during that month. Companies seem to be desperate for workers, at least judging by this one measure. The latest estimate for August 2021 came in well short of either the revised figure (11.1 million) or the previous one. Yet, at 10.4 million that’s still greater than June’s 10.2 million, all of these summer months pegged at more than a third higher than the...

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For The Love Of Unemployment Rates

Here we are again. The labor force. The numbers from the BLS are simply staggering. During September 2021, the government believes it shrank for another month, down by 183,000 when compared to August. This means that the Labor Force Participation rate declined slightly to 61.6%, practically the same level in this key metric going back to June.Last June.These millions, yes, millions (see: below), are being excluded from the official labor force therefore unemployment rate because they admit...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Zooming Out

How often do you check your brokerage account? There is a famous economics paper from 1997, written by some of the giants in behavioral finance (Thaler, Kahnemann, Tversky & Schwartz), that tested what is known as myopic loss aversion. What they found was that investors who check their performance less frequently are more willing to take risk and experience higher returns. Investors who check their results frequently take less risk and perform worse. And that makes a lot of sense if you...

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One For New Orders, Several More Against

New orders, new orders, new orders. That’s the substance of the inventory cycle. A lot more of them, the upswing in it can remain intact keeping the global manufacturing economy humming along. Should they start to scale back and then, maybe at some point, decline, this unusual supply-constraint trend transitions toward a more historical inventory cycle on the downturn. As noted earlier this week, in the US a few regional Fed manufacturing surveys hinted at this latter. Today, the ISM and...

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An Economy Dividing By Inventory And Labor

Is it delta COVID? Or the widely reported labor shortage? Something has created a soft patch in the presumed indestructible US economy still hopped up on Uncle Sam’s deposits made earlier in the year. And yet, there’s a nagging feeling over how this time, like all previous times, just might be too good to be true, too. To start with, the rebound from last year’s recession is decidedly, maybe even uniquely uneven. Not just explosive goods sector vs. moribund services, there’s also a divide...

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Turning The LABOR SHORTAGE Up to 11

In Massachusetts, the Federal Reserve’s First District, restaurateurs have struggled mightily to find workers. As part of the central bank’s Beige Book, one contact of the Boston leadership said the industry was “facing the worst labor shortage he has seen in 35 years of experience.” In response to such a major threat, these firms become truly creative to try to entice employee prospects. According to the text of the Fed’s document, it’s not just restaurants, either, as this deficit has...

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