Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 3:08pm
In the April BLS jobs report, the big numbers are: 115,000 jobs showing poor job growth and the unemployment rate dropping a tenth of a percent to 8.1% mainly from those exited from the labor force by the BLS. Jobs for February were revised up 19,000 from 240,000 to 259,000 and for March 34,000 from 120,000 to 154,000, a total upward revision of 53,000. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Tue, 04/17/2012 - 2:47pm
There is a great post over at TomDispatch by Dilip Hiro on the US-Pakistan relationship. I say relationship, although Pakistan is often characterized as an "ally," because Pakistan is anything but an ally. The US does have allies, the NATO countries, Japan, and South Korea, and we are committed to their defense through formal treaties. But there is a whole other class of countries that are sloppily and/or deceptively referred to as allies. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 1:34pm
It looks like the seasonal early year surge in jobs is, as we predicted, wearing off. The big news this month is that the BLS is reporting 120,000 jobs created in March. Traditional media sources were forecasting more in the 200,000 area, and this was itself a weaker forecast than in previous months. Nor was there any good news to be found in the near term revisions for the past two months. It was a wash. The January job creation was revised down 9,000 from 284,000 to 275,000 and the February number was revised up 13,000 from 227,000 to 240,000.
The official U-3 unemployment rate edged down from 8.3% to 8.2%. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 2:45pm
The BLS jobs report covering February 2012 showed not only a big gain in jobs for the month (227,000) but also revisions upward for both December (203,000 > 223,000) and January (243,000 > 284,000). The unemployment rate, however, remained unchanged at 8.3% reflecting a return to the labor force of some of those the BLS had chosen to define out of it.
So I suppose the important question is how much of this is real. Offhand I would say it is a mixture of stimulative early in the year government spending (remember its fiscal year begins in October) moving into the economy and modeling and margin of error effects. But let's look at the numbers. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Mon, 02/20/2012 - 1:40am
Last Friday on the 17th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report covering real wages in January 2012. Real wages are inflation adjusted, as opposed to actual nominal wages which can go up even as their buying power decreases due to inflation.
For all employees, real hourly wages, seasonally adjusted, fell 1% year over year from January 2011 to January 2012.
Weekly real take home pay decreased less than this: 0.4%. This was due to a 0.6% increase in the average work week.
This mitigated the effect of the hourly losses, but it also meant that Americans were working more for less and still overall losing ground. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 4:26pm
The first thing to say, as I noted last month, is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report covering January 2012 reflects both yearly revisions in the Establishment (business/jobs) survey and the first incorporation of data from the 2010 Census into the Household (people/employment) survey. This means that comparisons with previous months need to be explained and caveated more than usual and in some cases may not be possible. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 3:59pm
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' report covering December 2011 is out. The number of jobs created from the Establishment survey is 200,000, an excellent number, but one which reflects strong holiday, hence likely temporary, hiring. In the Household survey, the unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percent to 8.5%. However, last month's unemployment was revised upwards from 8.6% to 8.7%. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Wed, 12/21/2011 - 4:19pm
Someone asked me back at the end of 2008, shortly after the meltdown, what I would do to address the current economic crisis. Since then I have put out a list once or twice a year on the subject. Here are some of the gifts I would like to see under our national Christmas tree, gift wrapping optional.
Force banks to prove they are financially sound and not bankrupt.
1. Evaluate assets and solvency on mark to market basis
2. Remove discredited executive leadership
3. Enforce Prompt Corrective Action to place financial institutions into bankruptcy or receivership regardless of size
4. Initiate forensic audits of financial institutions, investigate and prosecute fraud at all levels (both fraud in lending and control fraud); RICO malefactors Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 2:40pm
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report covering November 2011 is out. The big numbers are an extraordinary drop in the official U-3 unemployment rate of 0.4% from 9% to 8.6% in the Household survey and a respectable jobs number, 120,000, from the Establishment survey. Additionally, September's jobs number was revised upward 52,000 from 158,000 to 210,000 and October's 20,000 from 80,000 to 100,000. If you have a good memory, you will recall the original jobs number for September was 103,000. Subsequent revisions have more than doubled it. You can look on this as further good news or as further evidence that BLS figures are becoming increasingly unreliable. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Tue, 11/15/2011 - 6:14pm
Just a quick note that my Obama Scandals list hit 300 today. There are a few scandals I never got around to writing up like the jail term deChristopher got for his disruption of an oil lease auction. Contrast that with the hoops Justice Department lawyers went through to try to keep the scudsy Bush-era Scott Bloch from serving any time (item 244). I also never got around to finishing Obama's deficit reduction plan and the Cat Food Commission II. But still a lot of material to remind you of just how bad Obama and our politics are.
Here's the table of contents:
1. Reneged on pledge to filibuster FISA Amendments Act (July 2008)
2. Lobbied for $700 billion Paulson TARP bank bailout Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 11/04/2011 - 2:21pm
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report covering October is mildly positive. The number of jobs created was 80,000 with the private sector adding 104,000 and government losing 24,000. The number of jobs created for August was revised upward from 57,000 to 104,000 (an increase of 47,000) and September's figure increased from 103,000 to 158,000 (an increase of 55,000). While both numbers show improvement, both cast doubt on the reliability of the Establishment survey from which they are drawn. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 2:06pm
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for September is out. On the surface, it is a mixed report. 103,000 jobs (Establishment survey) were created in September. The private sector created 137,000 jobs with 45,000 of these coming from telecommunication workers returning from strike. Government lost 34,000 jobs in all with local government losing 35,000. Additionally, totals for the two previous months were increased by 99,000. Yet despite this, the U-3 unemployment rate (Household survey) remained unchanged at 9.1%. Beneath the surface, things are, however, getting steadily worse.
To see what is really going on, as usual, we need to look more deeply into the numbers. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 9:50pm
Here is a quick overview of the Census data on income, poverty, and healthcare for 2010. The "year" for this report extends from March 2010 to March 2011.
Real median household income in 2010 was $49,445 a decline of 2.3% from $50,599 in 2009. You would have to go back 15 years to 1996 to find a lower number. Conversely, the high for this number occurred in 1999 ($53,252). The 2010 figure marks a 7.1% decline from that high. (Table A-2, p.34)
In 2010, the percentage of those without healthcare insurance was 16.3%, up from 16.1% in 2009. The number of uninsured increased from 48.985 million to 49.904 million, an increase of 919,000. Read below the fold...
Submitted by Hugh on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 12:38am
Not being able to stomach Obama's sudden interest in jobs, I passed on his speech to Congress and looked up the White House's fact sheet on his proposals. I rearranged them so that it was easier to see who gets what.
The Obama jobs plan:
$78 billion in tax cuts for businesses:
$65 billion cut payroll taxes in half from 6.2% to 3.1% on first $5 million in payroll Read below the fold...
and from 6.2% to 0 on first $50 million in wages for new hires
$5 billion for 100% expensing on new plants and equipment, available to both large and small firms
$8 billion for $4,000 tax credits to hire those unemployed more than 6 months
Submitted by Hugh on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 6:00am
Resistance we have been told by the Democratic party is futile. We have no place to go. Our priorities don't even merit lip service anymore. Medicare? Medicaid? Social Security? All are on the chopping block. Jobs? OK, still some lip service there but even that is 2 1/2 years too late. The wars, the surveillance state, the trashing of the Constitution, all are perking along nicely, thank you very much. Read below the fold...