Seattle has experienced the largest 3 month job loss in its history last year, following the introduction of a $15 minimum wage. We can only imagine the impact such a change has had on the prospects of employment for the young and unskilled.
Official Treasury tax-receipt data are at major odds with the much more upbeat numbers reported by the Labor Department. January’s year-over-year payroll increase of 2.665 million, or 1.9%, along with a 2.5% gain in average hourly earnings should yield something in the neighborhood of 4.5% year-over-year growth in tax withholdings — or more than double the actual growth rate in recent weeks. And yet over the past 10 full weeks, starting Dec. 7, tax withholdings have grown just 3.1% from a year ago.
It seems that everyone these days is exporting deflation to the US. American consumers will be delighted with everyone sending cheaper goods their way. However, what this may do to their income and employment prospects is a whole different matter.
Over the short run, markets respond to myths. Investors are ready to believe almost anything... for a while. But over the long run, there is reality. No matter how badly investors want asset prices to go up, they don’t always comply. Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellen are, after all, only human. They respond to myths as much as anyone... maybe more.
"The Fed has painted itself into a corner... [the current situation's severity] is very similar to what you get before you slip into a crisis....The bumpy ride is probably not over yet... stay on guard."
President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address came up short of the facts on several topics. Obama apparently omitted part of his presidency in boasting of nearly 900,000 manufacturing jobs “in the past six years.” Over his entire time in office, manufacturing jobs have gone down by 230,000.
While the President will do his best to put a positive spin on the current economic environment, and the success of his policies, when he gives his “State of the Union” address, it would be worth remembering whom he is actually addressing. It is also worth considering that much of this is likely the reason that Donald Trump is surging in Conservative polling. As with all things – it is the lens from which you view the world that defines what you see. For Wall Street, things could not be better. For Main Street, most everything could be better. The President has a lot of “convincing” to do if he expects to change voter’s attitudes between now and the 2016 Presidential election.
What explains America's revulsion with the existing system? The answer comes from the latest Gallup article: "Explaining Trump: Widespread Government Corruption" in which it finds that once the silent majority of the population can identify the object of their distrust and anger - in this case Congress and the political status quo - and once they can subsequently identify an object that represents its opposite, the latter object's distance to the Oval Office becomes considerably shorter.
For Americans between the ages of 20 and 24, the share of those sidelined over the past decade because they were in school increased, unsurprisingly, during the decade that included the Great Recession. What's more unusual is that the share of 20- to 24-year-olds who say they're retired doubled from 2004 to 2014.
The 10 largest occupations include retail salespersons and cashiers, food preparation and serving workers, general office clerks, registered nurses, customer service representatives, and waiters and waitresses. That combined group of workers accounted for 21 percent of total U.S. employment in May 2014. Only one - registered nurse - makes more than the national average when it comes to all U.S. jobs.
"The new rounds of rate cutting and Quantitative Easing that the Fed will have to unleash will echo the military "surge" in Iraq in 2007. Those fresh troops were needed to roll back the chaos that the Administration had ignored for so long. But just as that surge only bought us a few years of relative calm, look for the gains brought about by our next monetary surge to be even more transitory. That is a development for which virtually no one on Wall Street is preparing."
The Fed pricked the financial bubblethis week as expected. Janet Yellen’s press conference couldn’t have been more perfect as it confirmed that the money printers have come to a stark dead end. The fact is, the global economy is deflating rapidly and the U.S. is sliding into recession. But our Fed chairman is clueless about what’s happening. She and her posse of money printers are going to get bushwhacked by reality in the year ahead.