BLS

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Is The BLS Overstating Jobs?





Is the BLS overstating employment growth? I guess it depends on whose data set you choose to believe. However, there is little denying the fact that with over 60% of the population living paycheck-to-paycheck, stagnant wage growth and declining net worth over the last five years, there is something that simply does not add up. If employment growth were indeed growing as strongly as in the late 90's, it would seem logical to expect that many of the disparities in the economic landscape should be starting to equalize somewhat. Unfortunately, that has yet to be the case.

 
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The Stunning Difference Between Unionized And Non-Unionized Wages





Want to boost US wages across the board? Then just unionize everyone!

 
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Hilsenrath Speaks: Fed Will Proceed With Rate Hikes "Later In The Year"





The Fed's own favorite mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath (for more see "On The New York Fed's Editorial Influence Over The WSJ"), just released a piece in which he claims, or rather his sources tell him, that the Fed is "on track to start raising short-term interest rates later this year, even though long-term rates are going in the other direction amid new investor worries about weak global growth, falling oil prices and slowing consumer price inflation." In other words, just like the ECB in 2011, the Fed which has hinted previously that it will hike rates just so it has "dry powder" to ease once the US economy falls into recession, will accelerate a full-blown recession in the US when it does - if indeed Hilsenrath's source is correct and not merely trying to push the USDJPY higher (for reference, see Reuters "exclusive" report on the Samsung takeover of Blackberry, denied by both parties within hours - hike some time this summer.

 
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There Is No Inflation (Unless You Eat Food, Use Water, Live In A House, Get Sick, Go To School, Or Do Taxes)





Government data reports are so funny. The blaring headlines today tells us that prices dropped in December. We are all saving billions from the drop in oil and gas. Hallelujah!!! The corporate MSM never digs into the numbers to get the real truth. These reports and their distribution to the sheep are designed to keep you sedated and calm. Facts are not necessary. How this data pertains to your everyday life is not important to the .1% who control the flow of information. Your government keepers will continue to drown you in propaganda and misinformation. But the average person should know they are being lied to. They see how much money they have left over at the end of every month. If any.

 
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3 Things - Employment, Interest Rates & Retail Sales





The majority of the jobs "created" since the financial crisis have been lower wage paying jobs in retail, healthcare and other service sectors of the economy. Conversely, the jobs created within the energy space are some of the highest wage paying opportunities available in engineering, technology, accounting, legal, etc. In fact, each job created in energy related areas has had a "ripple effect" of creating 2.8 jobs elsewhere in the economy from piping to coatings, trucking and transportation, restaurants and retail. Simply put, lower oil and gasoline prices may have a bigger detraction on the economy that the "savings" provided to consumers.

 
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Core Producer Prices Jump 0.3%, MOre Than Expected As Sliding Energy Prices Drag Headline PPI Down 0.3%





The last thing anyone will care about today is seasonally-adjusted US economic data, but in any event, it is worth noting that in a world allegedly drowning in inflation, moments ago the BLS reported that December wholesale producer prices, while dropping less than expected -0.3% on the headline, actually jumped 0.3% excluding food and energy. The 0.3% decline in the final demand index can be traced to a 1.2-percent drop in prices for final demand goods. In contrast, the index for final demand services moved up 0.2 percent. The headline drop was as expected once again driven by declining gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, home heating oil, and diesel fuel prices offset by advances in the indexes for motor vehicles, up 0.6%, eggs for fresh use, and residential natural gas. In fact, the 2.1% annual increase in final demand services was the highest since May of 2014.

 
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Initial Jobless Claims Surge Above 300k, Highest Since June 2014





Tumbling retail sales and now surging jobless claims... perhaps the "low oil is awesome" narrative is not true after all. Initial Jobless claims surged to 316k (smashing expectations of 290k) and has not been higher since June 2014.  The BLS reports no unusual activity - so economists can't hust shrug this one off. Details on state-by-state job losses are lagged a week so we will not know if this is Shale Oil region-related but yesterday's Beige Book and day after day of announced job cuts by the energy sector suggest it is.

 
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JOLTS Data Suggests Labor Market Won't Normalize For Another Three Years





While there was good news in today's JOLTs report, the bad news is that it will likely take another 3 years before the labor/skills mismatch in the labor market renormalizes. Some time in 2017. So will Yellen be "patient" for another three years?

 
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Labor Participation Rate Drops To Fresh 38 Year Low; Record 92.9 Million Americans Not In Labor Force





Another month, another attempt by the BLS to mask the collapse in the US labor force with a goalseeked seasonally-adjusted surge in waiter, bartender and other low-paying jobs. Case in point: after a modest rebound by 0.1% in November, the labor participation rate just slid once more, dropping to 62.7%, or the lowest print since December 1977. This happened because the number of Americans not in the labor forced soared by 451,000 in December, far outpacing the 111,000 jobs added according to the Household Survey, and is the primary reason why the number of uenmployed Americans dropped by 383,000.

 
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Non-Farm Payrolls Rise By More Than Expected 252K, But Hourly Earnings Plunge Most In At Least 8 Years





On the surface, the December jobs report was good, with 252K jobs added, higher than the 240K expected, leading to a fresh cycle low unemployment rate of 5.6%, down from 5.8% and below the 5.7% expected, and with the November data revised to a whopping 353K from 321K, a net change of 50K including the October revision. However it was the average hourly earnings where the real details were hid, and it was here that Wall Street was expecting a 0.2% increase. Intead the BLS reported a whoppping 0.2% decline in average hourly earnings, with the last month's 0.4% jump revised lower by half to 0.2%.

 
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These 19 States Just Hiked The Minimum Wage: Here Come The "Unintended Consequences"





The reason why the BLS has not yet revealed the reality of the shifting US labor force, and why there is virtually no real wage growth across the US, is that the BLS simply backs into statistically goal-seeked results, using seasonal and statistical (birth/death) adjustments to smooth a trendline to beat a monthly bogey used by algos to bid stocks higher. Meanwhile, the reality at the micro level, is that increasingly more Americans are seeing their work status transformed from full-time to part-time status, earning less in the process, having no healthcare and retirement benefits and virtually no job security. As a result, starting this year, some 19 states just increased their minimum wage threshold, with 3 more states due to follow later in 2015. This takes place at the state level because for numerous reasons, there simply wan't enough of a consensus to pass this at the Federal level.

 
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Decoupling Just Died: December New Orders Plunge Below Polar Vortex Level, Optimism Plummets To 2012 Levels





As the ISM data revealed moments ago, we were right to focus on the NSA data, because while the Seasonally Adjusted (and one still wonders why a survey needs seasonal adjustments - after all human psychology automatically adjusts for the seasons) New Orders number tumbled by 8.7, the biggest crash since the 13.1 crash now blamed on the Polar Vortex (can't blame the weather this time), it was the unadjusted New Orders number that was the stunner: at 53.5 this was the lowest number since before even the polar vortex: in fact it was the lowest since July 2013!

 
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The Greater Abomination: Washington's Lies About TARP's "Success" Are Worse Than The Original Bailouts, Part I





The mainstream economics narrative is so far down the monetary rabbit hole that the blinding clarity of the chart below has no chance whatsoever of seeing the light of day. That’s because it dramatizes the real truth regarding all the Fed gibberish about “accommodation” and “stimulus”. Namely, that what lies beneath its “extraordinary measures”, such as ZIRP, QE, wealth effects and the rest of the litany, is a central banking regime that systematically destroy savers. Period. TARP wasn’t “repaid” with a profit. It was simply perpetuated and  morphed into a new form of destructive state subvention and malinvestment.

 
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The "Unequivocally 'Not' Good" Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs





The drop in oil prices is certain to cause some incremental unemployment in the U.S. energy industry; the question is simply how much and what that means for the American economy as a whole.

 
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