Bureau of Labor Statistics

Full Transcript Of The BLS' First Post-NFP Public Q&A

The first ever BLS web chat is over and the results are below. To be sure, none of Zero Hedge's more probing (or any) questions were honored but that's ok: we don't claim to be well-connected administration/banking system insiders, on the fast track to hard cover book releases (and maybe sales) any time soon. The overall theme is that for the most part the people who cared enough to participate in this chat a) didn't believe much of what is coming out of the BLS, and b) ridiculed assumption that things are getting even remotely better. Although not even an hour had passed from the release that Robert Gibbs (@PressSec) twitted the following: "Looking at jobs numbers...in first 3 months of '09 averaged 753,000 jobs lost - first 3 months of this year, average of 54,000 jobs created." And then they wonder why the population, which is not as dumb as the admin wants to believe, does not believe a single governmental release.

Here Is Your Chance To Ask Just What Magic Eight Ball The BLS Pulls Its Data From

Following tomorrow's NFP announcement, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will entertain a Q&A session with the general public. The BLS will use Cover It Live (which prescreens questions, so don't expect any too "pertinent" questions to be allowed). We hope TrimTabs' Charles Biderman will use this opportunity to discuss some of his rather divergent payroll observations. Furthermore, we ourselves may inquire as to what the reason why the average unemployed's monthly paycheck has now increased to the all time record of just under $1,500 based on a total insured population of just under 11 million, and why if the actual check is where it should be (~$1,000) is there a shadow 40% of the insured work pool (roughly 4 million people) that is not being accounted for?

Link to the BLS Q&A can be found here.

asiablues's picture

In contrast to the cheery mood of the markets, the latest readings from consumers and small business owners indicate economic sentiment isn’t improving. This divergence has got the Wall Street scratching its collective head. In short, the disparity may be deciphered in one word – liquidity - which Wall Street has plenty of, while main street remains strapped.

madhedgefundtrader's picture

Something amazing is happening in the labor market. The aggregate payroll figures are meaningless. Many of the jobless are getting rehired very quickly. This is proof that the dying sectors of the US economy that are delivering the highest unemployment rates. US employment is really much better than it appears. Without the snow, the February number could have been as high as a positive 100,000. Alert: the markets don’t know this.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

An Extraordinary Coup?

While US workers are now working more hours and have become dramatically more productive and profitable, their pay is actually declining and all the dramatic increases in wealth are going straight into the pockets of the Economic Elite. The financial coup that begun in the US is now spreading across the world, threatening the fabric of our societies. How will this all end?

asiablues's picture

The timing and haste of the newly proposed Volcker Rule by Obama has drawn criticism that this is simply a transparent attempt at populism in light of the Dems Massachusetts defeat. Moreover, it certainly does not address the more dire issue of the Middle America – jobs.

December State Unemployment Deteriorates: 44 States Report Employment Decreases

The BLS today released yet another data point confirming the double-dip is finally here: in December 44 states reported a statistically sginficiant decline in employment. "Over the year, 44 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were decreases. The largest statistically significant job losses occurred in California (-579,400), Texas (-276,000), Illinois (-237,300), Florida (-232,400), and Michigan (-207,100). The smallest statistically significant decreases in employ- ment occurred in South Dakota (-10,900), Delaware (-12,100), and Montana (-13,700)."

Reggie Middleton's picture

The grave unemployment situation not only undermines the economic health and recovery hopes, but is also acting as a major source of financial strain on the Fed's books. It is observed that the Fed has been taking in huge deficits on its books because of UI programs. The total UI withdrawals on Fed books in 2009 were $139 billion against deposits of just $31 billion received from states for unemployment. While the withdrawals in 2009 have increased by 320% when compared with withdrawals in 2007, the deposits have declined by 6.6%. The deficit has increased to nearly $107 billion from nearly no deficit, two years ago.

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.