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Tag Archives: Unemployment Rate

Weekly Market Pulse: What Now?

The yield curve inverted last week. Well, the part everyone watches, the 10-year/2-year Treasury yield spread, inverted, closing the week a solid 7 basis points in the negative. The difference between the 10-year and 2-year Treasury yields is not the yield curve though. The 10/2 spread is one point on the Treasury yield curve which is positively sloped from 1 month to 3 years, negatively sloped from 3 years to 10 years and positively sloped again from 10 out to 30 years: So, yes, parts of...

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A(nother) Waste of Our Time

It’s been a while, but the BLS finally got around to releasing a near-perfect payroll report. These had been incredibly common even during prior downturns and near recessions, which should only raise questions about them. Among any immediate concerns, how relevant can these data points be?In our current day, like the consumer price data, they’re already old news. That’s not my judgement but rather the whole entire bond market. Whatever the employment figures, curves have only gone further...

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Pay Attention

Benchmark revisions have visited the BLS JOLTS survey, too. And yes, they’ve been smoothed. To that end, the hawkishly-watched Job Openings (JO) trend has been altered. Before this week’s release, JO had peaked like the Establishment Survey back last summer and had seemed to soften since. Now, JO continues on an upward bend rather than downward.For JOLTS Hires (HI), the revisions are more dramatic in that they now very closely (as is designed) match the new (though improved?) estimates for...

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For The Fed, None Of These Details Will Matter

Most people have the impression that these various payroll and employment reports just go into the raw data and count up the number of payrolls and how many Americans are employed. Perhaps the BLS taps the IRS database as fellow feds, or ADP as a private company in the same data business of employment just tallies how many payrolls it processes as the largest provider of back-office labor services.That’s just not how it works, though. In fact, sampling and statistical processing first, and...

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Payrolls and Population, What A Mess

What a time to forget it was the month for yearly benchmark revisions. After making a huge deal out of these spread across all kinds of economic accounts put together by various government agencies, I hadn’t remembered how February each year the BLS makes its contributions to correcting economic records for the payroll and employment data. So, I wrote this earlier in the week after conflicted data from BLS’s JOLTS: …which probably means the noisy monthly payroll will be a blowout! And...

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More Questions Than Clarity On Labor Inflation Pressure As FOMC Seeks Justification For Taper/Rate Hikes

The BLS released its labor turnover data, or JOLTS, earlier today. There have been two main issues with it, starting with Job Openings (JO) which is widely cited along with the unemployment rate to represent the widely reported labor shortage theory. More controversial has been Quits, lately dubbed in the media as the Great Resignation for a variety of presumed causes. Beginning with JO, the estimated level of labor demand has been relatively constant up at historic levels (around 11...

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Taper Discretion Means Not Loving Payrolls Anymore

When Alan Greenspan went back to Stanford University in September 1997, his reputation was by then well-established. Even as he had shocked the world only nine months earlier with “irrational exuberance”, the theme of his earlier speech hadn’t actually been about stocks; it was all about money.The “maestro” would revisit that subject repeatedly especially in the late nineties, and it was again his topic in California early Autumn ’97. As Emil Kalinowski and I had just talked about in our...

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Before Nodding Along w/FOMC’s Hawks On Inflation, First Grab Yourself A Beveridge

The Beveridge Curve was a useful guide for checking the intuitive relationship between the economic demand for labor and the actual use of it. Downward sloping, what it implies is that as more companies demand more labor the less unemployment there should be. No duh, right?Because of this fundamental relationship, we might also use the Beveridge Curve in order to check the viability of the statistics which are constructed to measure these pieces of the economy. Picking up on yesterday’s...

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The Repeating Tides of Payroll And Inflation

There were all kinds of good news in the August payroll report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics would publish an acceleration in headline numbers, just about every one of them. The Establishment Survey “surged”, wage growth registered its largest annual increase in nearly a decade, while one broad measure of slack, U-6, tumbled to its lowest point since the start of the 21st Century.The US economy, it might have seemed, was on an unstoppable roll. US job growth accelerated in August, with...

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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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