Bureau of Labor Statistics

Weekly ABC Consumer Confidence Plummets By 11% As Holiday Bills Arrive Following Weak Payrolls Number

The ABC Consumer Confidence index plummeted last week, falling from -41 to -47, sustaining "one of its steepest one-week drops in the last quarter century, following last week’s troubling jobs report with an all-hands retreat from what had been a tentative positive trend in consumer attitudes." At -47 the index is essentially at the average 2009 level of -48, and far below the average since 1985 of -12. As far as the US consumer is concerned, this recession is far from over.

More Bad News From The BLS: Job Openings At 2.4 Million, 50% Decline From December 2007


Some more bad news out of the BLS today, to follow up on last Friday's disappointing NFP. For November, the amount of job openings dropped back to 2009 lows, at 2.4 million, dropping by 156,000 from October. After hitting a previous low in July, and gradually showing a moderate improvement, the last two months have killed that inflection point. In November the hires-fires differential was for a job loss of -164,000, which differs materially from the gain of +4,000 called for in the Curreny Employment Statistics survey. Look for more downward revision to November payroll data.

NFP -85K, November Revised From -11K to +4K, Unemployment At 10%, Labor Force Declines

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent. In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. Among the unemployed, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up, reaching 6.1 million. In December, 4 in 10 unemployed workers were jobless for 27 weeks or longer. About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in December, an increase of 578,000 from a year earlier. Among the marginally attached, there were 929,000 discouraged workers in December, up from 642,000 a year earlier. In December, the average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.2 hours. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from -111,000 to -127,000, and the change for November was revised from -11,000 to +4,000. In December, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $18.80. The civilian labor force participation rate fell to 64.6 percent in December. The employment-population ratio declined to 58.2 percent.

A +316,000 NFP Print On Friday? The BLS Seasonal Fudge Factors Make It Very Likely

"As we look to December data (reported this Friday) if the seasonal adjustment multiple returns to anything in the range of historical norms it should provide a huge lift to the reported m/m change. In quantitative terms a return to the 1996–2008 average would create a seasonal lift of 431K to the as-reported m/ m change. In comparison the 1996–2007 actual December m/m change (unadjusted) was 116K. Put differently, if this was an average December for job creation and the adjustment factor returns to a historical average we would see a non-farm payroll print of +316K on Friday." - Stifel Nicolaus

BLS Reports Improvement In State Unemployment Rates

Latest data out of the BLS is in tune with the most recent miraculous reading of national unemployment, a number which as highlighted allows more ways to be gamed than not. In any case, for those who believe BLS data, here are the most improved states (those farmers must sure be hiring ahead of the winter season): Louisiana: from 7.4% to 6.7%, Nebraska: from 4.9% to 4.5%, Kansas: from 6.8% to 6.3%, Connecticut: 8.8% to 8.2%, and Kentucky: 11.2% to 10.6%.

Charting The Government's Chronic And Flawed Overrepresentation Of Household Net Worth: A $2.1 Trillion Downward Revision In One Quarter

After we posted our preliminary thoughts on the Z.1 "Flow of Funds Accounts of the U.S." report earlier, we had the chance to dig deeper through the data in the governmental cash flow report. To our surprise we uncovered some dramatic data revisions whose presence highlights the recent "consumer resurgence" in a very different light. The key finding is that the government has been chronically overrepresenting Household Net Worth in original publications, and subsequently revising the data dramatically in order to hide the fact that consumers' wealth is nowhere near as impressive as originally represented. Putting a number to this statement: a $2.1 trillion downward revision in just one quarter.

Econophile's picture

Christina Romer is one of Obama's chief economic advisors. But she has absolutely no clue what to do about this crisis. Her recent letter defending the Administration's policies is just the usual hack political stuff one would expect from them. She is typical of the problems in Washington. She means well, but she is fabricating the truth in order to justify their actions. Their approach to using government power is one we should all be afraid of. She spells it out quite clearly.

The Truth About The BLS Lies

All the fabrications behind the BLS numbers in one easy to digest cartoon. And for those who wish to know what the December NFP number will be, we suggest FOIAinf Obama's TV tour schedule and juxtaposing it with January BLS releases. After all, someone has to take over Oprah's "feel good" show.

Full Ben Bernanke Speech Before Economic Club of New York

The foreign exchange value of the dollar has moved over a wide range during the past year or so. When financial stresses were most pronounced, a flight to the deepest and most liquid capital markets resulted in a marked increase in the dollar. More recently, as financial market functioning has improved and global economic activity has stabilized, these safe haven flows have abated, and the dollar has accordingly retraced its gains. The Federal Reserve will continue to monitor these developments closely. We are attentive to the implications of changes in the value of the dollar and will continue to formulate policy to guard against risks to our dual mandate to foster both maximum employment and price stability. Our commitment to our dual objectives, together with the underlying strengths of the U.S. economy, will help ensure that the dollar is strong and a source of global financial stability.

No mention of Gold