Tag Archive: Labor Market

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.

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How Many More Americans Might Have Quit Their Jobs Than The Huge Number Already Estimated, And What Might This Mean For FOMC Taper

There were a few surprises included in the BLS JOLTS data just released today for the month of November (note: the government has changed its release schedule so that JOLTS, already one month further in arrears than the payroll report, CES & CPS, will now come out earlier so that its numbers are publicly available for the same monthly payrolls before the next CES & CPS get released).

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As The Fed Tapers: What If More Rapid (published) Wage Increases Are Actually Evidence of *Deflationary* Conditions?

Since the Federal Reserve is not in the money business, their recent hawkish shift toward an increasingly anti-inflationary stance is a twisted and convoluted case of subjective interpretation.

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A Global JOLT(s) In July

The Bureau Labor Statistics reported today another huge month for Job Openings (JO). According to their methodology (which I still believe is flawed, but that’s not our focus this time), the level for October 2021 (JOLTS updates are for one month further back than payrolls) was a blistering 11.03 million.

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The Productive Use Of Awful Q3 Productivity Estimates Highlights Even More ‘Growth Scare’ Potential

What was it that old Iowa cornfield movie said? If you build it, he will come. Well, this isn’t quite that, rather something more along the lines of: if you reopen it, some will come back to work. Not nearly as snappy, far less likely to sell anyone movie tickets, yet this other tagline might contribute much to our understanding of “growth scare” and its affect on the US labor market.

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The Wile E. Powell Inflation: Are We Really Just Going To Ignore The Cliff?

Last year did not end on a sound note. The initial rebound after 2020’s recession was supposed to be a straight line, lifting upward for the other side of the infamous “V” shape. Such hopes had been dashed, though, and as the disappointing year wound toward its own end yet another big problem loomed.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Do Rising ‘Global’ Growth Concerns Include An Already *Slowing* US Economy?

Global factors, meaning that the wave of significantly higher deflationary potential (therefore, diminishing inflationary chances which were never good to begin with) in global bond yields the past five months have seemingly focused on troubles brewing outside the US. Overseas turmoil, it was called back in 2015, leaving by default a picture of relative American strength and harmony.

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JOLTS Revisions: Much Better Reopening, But Why Didn’t It Last?

According to newly revised BLS benchmarks, the labor market might have been a little bit worse than previously thought during the worst of last year’s contraction. Coming out of it, the initial rebound, at least, seems to have been substantially better – either due to government checks or, more likely, American businesses in the initial reopening phase eager to get back up and running on a paying basis again.

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Weekly Market Pulse – Real Rates Finally Make A Move

Last week was only four days due to the President’s day holiday but it was eventful. The big news of the week was the  spike in interest rates, which according to the press reports I read, “came out of nowhere”. In other words, the writers couldn’t find an obvious cause for a 14 basis point rise in the 10 year Treasury note yield so they just chalked it up to mystery.

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Two Seemingly Opposite Ends Of The Inflation Debate Come Together

It’s worth taking a look at a couple of extremes, and the putting each into wider context of inflation/deflation. As you no doubt surmise, only one is receiving much mainstream attention. The other continues to be overshadowed by…anything else.

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Uncle Sam Was Back Having Consumers’ Backs

American consumers were back in action in January 2021. The “unemployment cliff” along with the slowdown and contraction in the labor market during the last quarter of 2020 had left retail sales falling backward with employment. Seasonally-adjusted, total retail spending had declined for three straight months to end last year.

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The Endangered Inflationary Species: Gazelles

Nevada is, by all accounts and accountants, in rough shape. Very rough shape. An economy overly dependent upon a single industry, tourism, in this case, is a disaster waiting to happen should anything happen to that industry. Pandemic restrictions, for instance.

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Inflation Hysteria #2 (WTI)

Sticking with our recent theme, a big part of what Inflation Hysteria #1 (2017-18) also had going for it was loosened restrictions for US oil producers. Seriously.

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Polar Opposite Sides of Consumer Credit End Up in the Same Place: Jobs

If anything is going to be charged off, it might be student loans. All the rage nowadays, the government, approximately half of it, is busily working out how it “should” be done and by just how much. A matter of economic stimulus, loan cancellation proponents are correct that students have burdened themselves with unprofitable college “education” investments.

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Don’t Really Need ‘Em, Few More Nails Anyway

The ISM’s Non-manufacturing PMI continued to decelerate from its high registered all the way back in July 2020. In that month, the headline index reached 58.1, the best since early 2019, and for many signaling that everything was coming up “V.”

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