Unemployment

Labor Force Participation Crisis? Don't Blame Demographics!

The Labor Force Participation Rate - in English, the percent of the population that is either in a job or looking for a job - fell yesterday to fresh 35 year lows. This is not a new trend, in fact since the end of 1999 (the dot-com bust) it has trended lower from well over 67% to the current 63.2%; which means the current unemployment rate would be almost 11% if the labor force was constant from when Obama took office. There appear to be at least four reasons (excuses) put forth for this dismal 'structural' trend but chief among them - and propagandized by most in the mainstream (given its lack of 'blame') - is the so-called 'aging of America' or demographics. There is only one problem with that 'myth'; it's entirely inconsistent with other Western economies who are experiencing exactly the same demographic shift. The collapse in the US labor force is, in fact, due to excess credit having fueled artificial growth for 3 decades; and now a government throwing free money at the population in the form of disability insurance (which has surged) and student loans (which are exponentially exploded). So who (or what) is to blame for the US' collapsing workforce? Simple, the unintended consequences of government interference.

Is Forward Guidance Already Dead?

While the market has been fixated lately on the question of when and how the Fed will taper its asset purchases, perhaps as important for the rates market (and the magic that levitates stocks) is the outlook for the Fed’s forward rate guidance. On this front, BofAML suggests that recent evidence shows the effectiveness of forward guidance is diminishing... already. Simply put, policy makers are finding it harder to convince markets that central bankers have more insight into the future course of the economy and policy than they actually do. Meanwhile, markets are learning that it can be painful to rely too heavily on forward guidance when the risk/reward of being long fixed income is asymmetrical when close to the zero lower bound. In BofAML's view, this should lead to a return to persistently higher front-end risk premiums than have prevailed over the last two years, barring a sharp deterioration in the economic outlook.

The Fed's Birthday Party Trick: A Market Of Monetary-Punch-Drunk Liquidityholics

If ever there was an investor reaction that summed up just how much the Federal Reserve has broken the markets it was yesterday morning's post-dismal-jobs-report surge. As John Phelan notes, we now appear to be in a position where the interests of financial markets are precisely at odds with the interests of the rest of the economy; where the good news for us is bad news for them and bad news for us is good news for them. The one way bet of the Greenspan Put maintained, so far, by Ben Bernanke, has created a market of monetary-punch-drunk liquidityholics. On its 100th birthday the Federal Reserve has the tricky task of sneaking the punch bowl out of the party, a task it seems they’ll struggle to manage without starting a riot. They may have printed themselves into a corner.

Pivotfarm's picture

We live in a throw-away world where we don’t repair and as soon as things start looking a bit shabby round the edges and curled up as if they were sandwiches left over from the night before, with the hangover thrown in for good measure, we just bin them. 

Here's Your "Efficient" Market!!

Today's price action in Chevron will come as no surprise to any reader of ZH, but maybe, just maybe, in flipping from porn site to porn site, the SEC will stumble across our earlier note on unemployment in the 'adult movie' business and will look at the following remarkable charts. As Nanex shows, with 37 seconds to the close, one of the largest market-cap firms in the entire world saw its stock price attacked by an HFT algo that oscillated it by +/-2% about twice-per-second. As Nanex exclaims, "no longer can any HFT'ers or exchange or regulator blame THIS on humans." Perhaps the odds of another black-out on NASDARK should be higher than the current 28%.

Goldman On Jobs Report: "Not Weak Enough To Delay Taper"

"While the August employment report was a moderate disappointment, we believe it is probably not weak enough to prevent the FOMC from tapering in September. However, it does raise the likelihood of a "dovish taper," which could include a small size of the overall adjustment to purchases, and which we think would likely coincide with an enhancement of the forward guidance."

Pivotfarm's picture

EU Cars All Conked Out

The Old Continent: Europe. They have always liked to pride themselves on the fact that they were quaint guys living in leafy suburbs and going to work along cobbled streets.

Real Unemployment Rate Rises To 11.4%, Difference Between Reported And Real Data Rises To Record

As frequent readers know, for the past three years we have compiled data looking at the US unemployment rate assuming a realistic labor force participation rate, which is the trendline average of the past three decades, or in the mid-65% area. Using such an approach allows us to estimate what the true unemployment (U3, not U6 underemployment) rate is. We can report that as a result of the latest monthly collapse in the labor force whose only purpose was to lower the unemployment rate from 7.4% to 7.3%, the actual implied unemployment rate just rose from 11.2% to 11.4%. This can be seen on the chart below. Also can be seen that the spread between the reported manipulated unemployment rate and the real rate accounting for a realistic labor force participation, just hit a record high 4.1%. In other words, unemployment data manipulation by the BLS was never been greater in the history of the US than in the past month.

August Jobs Rise 169K, Less Than Expected, Unemployment Rate 7.3%, Huge Downward Revision To July Print

A messy report out of the gate with the number of jobs added in August at 169K, or as predicted by ADP, worse than the 180K expected, however this was offset by the Unemployment Rate dropping from 7.4% to 7.3%, on expectations of an unchanged print. However what has shocked the market is the revision to the July jobs number from 162K to only 104K, resulting in a net drop of 74K jobs, and breaking the average 2013 jobs gain of 200K which previously was said by the Fed to be the key threshold level for tapering. The question now is: is this print bad enough to delay the taper?

Yet Another "Most Important Jobs Number Ever" On Deck

The highlight of today's economic releases will be the 8:30 am non-farm payroll data, expected to print at 180K jobs, up from July's 162K, and result in an unchanged 7.4% unemployment rate. The "most important jobs number ever " is neither, because even if it comes as a wild outlier to the good or bad side, the Fed is unlikely to change its tapering intentions this late in the game. Still, it will provide fireworks in a very jittery market and if the number is far stronger than expected, expect the 10 Year to finally blow out from below the 3% range which it breached briefly overnight, and never look back, at least not until there is an August 2011 wholesale risk revulsion episode and stocks tumble. Speaking of jittery, overnight the WSJ reports that if picked as Bernanke's replscament, Larry Summers' faces an uphill battle to get the votes of three key democrats on the Senate Banking Committee (Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren). It would be only fitting that the dysfunctional Democratic dominated senate now lashes out against the president, and in the process scuttles the market's only hope of maintaining its Fed-derived gains over the past five years... And there is, of course, Syria which is becoming increasingly problematic for Obama whose support in Congress is looking ever shakier. Will he go it alone in the case of a no vote?

Payrolls "Taper-On" Preview - 95 Estimates And A 7-Sigma Spread

With TrimTabs seeing real wage and salary growth at a mere 0.7% year-over-year in August, some of the more 'robust' expectations for tomorrow's non-farm payroll report appear a little exuberant. However, Goldman's 200k estimate (based on 24 labor market indicators) suggests there will be enough to provide cover (aside from the cornering via sentiment, deficits, technicals, and international resentment) for a Fed "Taper." SocGen's Brian Jones is top-dog at a stunning 220k expectations (2-sigma above the 180k median expectation for 'probably the most important data point in the world'). At the other end of the scale of 95 estimates summarized below by Bloomberg, is TrimTabs' Madeline Schnapp who sees a 5-sigma miss at a mere 79k jobs added. Goldman expects the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.4%.

A Post-ECB Reminder On The 'State' Of Europe

Pouring forth from all of the nations on the Continent, like a Preacher with the "Good News," is the notion that Europe is over the recession, that every country is doing just fine and that all problems have been solved. This, in our opinion, could not be further from the truth. It is the spiel of the day and reality will be found in the footnotes of tomorrow as long as tomorrow is after September 22... Even Draghi was forced to admit that thing smay have got a little ahead of themselves...

*DRAGHI SAYS CAN'T SHARE ENTHUSIASM ABOUT RECOVERY

As a reminder, September 22 is the date for the German Elections. All of Europe and the IMF are keeping their heads down, playing nice and saying very little until this date comes and goes.

August Service ISM Soars To 58.6, Highest Since 2005, Second Biggest Two Month Surge In History

The data is getting painfully laughable: on one hand Gallup says unemployment is soaring to two year highs, on the other, the ISM non-manufacturing report just printed at 58.6: for those keeping track, and who enjoy laying along, this was the highest since December 2005, and the 2nd largest two month increase in the index on record.  Of course, this means unless NFP tomorro comes at -1,000,000, the Taper is a done deal as the 10 year, which just printed 2.969% and surging, indicate. Stocks continue to do their own thing, blissfully ignorant of the debalce that will take place once the 3.00% yield stops are hit. The good news for bond bulls: this index can only go down from these ridiculous levels.

Unemployment Rate Surges To Highest Since 2011 - Gallup Polling

With ADP out of the way, and providing no guidance to an extreme NFP print one way or another, we once again turn to Gallup. As a reminder, a few days ago we showed that things are bad and getting worse for America's job prospects following direct polling land as relates to unemployment on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Today, the polling group has released its seasonally adjusted unemployment number and how it compares to the BLS' own estimation of the labor market. In a word: it is not pretty (which, again, is good for those who are hoping and praying St. Ben will keep the monetary Kool Aid running for a little bit longer): at 8.6% it is over 1% higher than the BLS' reported print, and is the highest since the end of 2011.