Apples and oranges and counting workers

OK… this is for labor force wonks only.

So if you read the official press release on the monthly dump of labor force statistics, a headline the state points out is that the count of total unemployed in the region dropped by 2,000 between October and November, and that was the largest monthly drop since . . . → Read More: Apples and oranges and counting workers

more people……

Boring unemployment news today… or is it.  Another jump in Pittsburgh’s labor force. See interactive graph for more.  Pittsburgh MSA labor force +26K year over year through October. Works out to +2.1% or more than double US labor force growth (+1%) over the same period.

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Rust Belt Redux

So BLS is reporting that the Pittsburgh regions seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up to 7.4% in September, from 7.3% in August.  It is a curious artifact of the new seasonal adjustment in that the seasonally unadjusted rate for the region was 6.7% in September of 2011, AND September of 2012.

I thought to . . . → Read More: Rust Belt Redux

Retroactive record setting unemployment rates

Little noticed in the media, but there was a big change in labor force stats routinely reported on each month for the Pittsburgh region.

A few may remember this post from April when I mentioned that the Bureau of Labor Statistics was reporting seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for the Pittsburgh region that were different . . . → Read More: Retroactive record setting unemployment rates

John Williams on Lies, Damned Lies and the 7.8% Unemployment Rate

Shadowstats.com Author John Williams wonders if politics are at play behind the latest jobs report, which shows 114,000 new U.S. jobs since September and a 0.3% drop in unemployment since August. Investors need to know how seasonal factors and month-to-month volatility affect the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reports. In this exclusive interview with . . . → Read More: John Williams on Lies, Damned Lies and the 7.8% Unemployment Rate

Which number do I use?

So here is a labor force story in the news today. Trib:  Job search dropouts abound

The theme there?  The labor force participation rate has been trending down.  Ok.  Hold that thought, but remember that the labor force participation rate is the labor force divided by the working age population variously defined.

Now what . . . → Read More: Which number do I use?

Who Pays Taxes?

Everyone:

Virtually all Americans will pay taxes during their lifetime. The uncertainty that came packaged with the Great Recession has allowed for the proliferation of many other economic misconceptions, especially in regard to taxes. Today’s economic context for tax reform is very complex. Most immediately, the economy is still in the midst of a . . . → Read More: Who Pays Taxes?

It Takes One to Know One

Some hack calls out FoxNews for lying about unemployment:

During a segment criticizing the Obama administration for its messaging on the economy, a Fox & Friends graphic claimed that the “real unemployment rate” had increased from 7.8% in 2009 to 14.7% now.

But in order to make the claim that unemployment had increased . . . → Read More: It Takes One to Know One

So does college pay off?

I know there are doubters that are getting louder… but at the end of the day lifetime earnings add up. Below is the differential in wages by educational attainment among those employed.  It’s not only the wage differential in itself that matters, but you have to also consider the significantly lower unemployment rates for those . . . → Read More: So does college pay off?

After Jackson Hole, Clear Road Ahead?

In terms of forward guidance I think the Fed Chairman’s speech provided little direction, but Friday’s precious metal price action into the close and the various sell side notes that I have seen suggest that this, at least initially, is too bearish a conclusion. The following excerpt from the speech, in particular, was . . . → Read More: After Jackson Hole, Clear Road Ahead?