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Tag Archives: payrolls

Payroll Friday: This Is Bad, Folks

You never fixate on a single employment report. It is a lesson that Jay Powell may not have yet learned. Either that, or he was desperately grasping for straws. The Federal Reserve is trying to thread a very fine needle; on the one hand, the rate cuts. On the other, he doesn’t want them to become a catalyst for people to say, see the economy really is weak! That means he has to claim the rate cut is a big deal but not that big of a deal because the economy is otherwise strong. Even the FOMC...

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I’d Like To Solve The Puzzle: Nastier Number Four, The New Lows in Germany

The European slump had been a combination of several transitory factors. At least that’s what they had kept saying. ECB officials and staff Economists didn’t use that specific word, so far that’s the exclusive domain of the Federal Reserve. Regardless of semantics, the message was clear: the 2018 economy ended on a sour note but that was nothing to be worried about, soon to be forgotten. In January 2019, various private Economists pitched in. One working for JP Morgan, Greg Fuzesi, estimated...

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Post-Landmine Payrolls

It’s never about a single payroll report. Even still, there’s something significant in how the “good” ones aren’t measuring up the way they used to. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy gained 224k payrolls in the month of June 2019. Well above consensus, the headline is being described as relieving some of the growing economic anxiety. Set aside 224k being anything like good in a wider historical context, it doesn’t even stack up for recent times. Last year, for...

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18/6/19: Obama v Trump: Jobs Creation

Who had the more impressive numbers in terms of jobs creation: President Obama or President Trump? This question is non-trivial. For a number of reason.Take first the superficially-simple comparative:On a y/y basis, average monthly change in total non-farm payrolls under the last 28 months of President Obama Administration was 2,704,000 using non-seasonally-adjusted data. For the first 28 months of the Trump Administration, the same figure was 2,394,000. So by this metric, things were...

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US IP: May Was A Good Month And It Was Still ‘Manufacturing Recession’

Whether or not a full-scale recession shows up in the US is an open question. There’s less of one in US industry. The “manufacturing recession” we last saw of Euro$ #3 is becoming clearer as a repeat property in Euro$ #4. According to the Federal Reserve, May was a relatively good month for industry – total output didn’t decline from April. No matter in the big picture. The trajectory is becoming very well established. As is consistent with economic and market data from all over the world,...

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Payrolls: Rate Cuts Not Of Their Choice

It’s never just one payroll report. The month-to-month changes in the Establishment Survey barely qualify as statistically significant, let alone meaningful. What that means is one good monthly headline is nothing to get excited about, just as one bad month shouldn’t get anyone too worked up. May 2019’s jobs report, however, isn’t in isolation. The headline for the Establishment Survey was +75k, well below expectations. On top of that, last month’s blowout (or what passes for one these days)...

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Payrolls Like GDP: Headlines Good, Underneath Really, Really Not

If the unemployment rate reaches zero and wages still don’t explode higher, the economy falls off, will Economists, central bankers, and the media stop relying on this one statistic for overall economic interpretation? You can be reasonably excited when the unemployment rate falls below 5%, as it did four years ago. Three point six, however, that’s something else entirely. We’ve long since moved into the range where there should be no doubts. On this typically absurd payroll Friday, the BLS...

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Payrolls: Fragile Friday

Milton Friedman was right about a lot of things. He was wrong about quite a bit, too. The stuff where he erred is what central banks now do in his name. The activist central bank is an outgrowth of monetarism, the academic approach to rethinking the Great Depression after Friedman and Anna Schwartz published A Monetary History. Toward the end of his life, he was more than a little annoyed. In one of the last interviews he gave just before he passed away in 2006, he quite vividly explained...

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Finally Some US Data, And It’s Payrolls?

It’s been awhile since we’ve had any data on the US economy. With the federal government having been shut down, especially the Census Bureau, the figures have gone dark. The current short-term government reopening will lead to an eventual rush of estimates, perhaps a few series that will be updated two months at a time. In lieu of all that, the dataset that breaks the silence is the payroll report. Hooray. When we last left it the US economy was booming big, at least according to the BLS...

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If You’ve Lost The ISM…

These transition periods are often just this sort of whirlwind. One day the economy looks awful, the next impervious to any downside. Today, it has been the latter with the BLS providing the warm comfort of headline payrolls. For now, it won’t matter how hollow. Yesterday, completely different story. Apple got it started downhill and the ISM pushed it off the cliff. The tech giant’s CEO admitted the global economy is in a world of trouble, EM’s and China first. Tim Cook said his company did...

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