October 5, 2007

The September Employment Numbers (100507)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:51 am

Run-up

Earlier reports on the economy from the Institute for Supply Management show that there was continued expansion during September in manufacturing (52.0) and non-manufacturing (54.8). Both readings were down about a point from August’s 52.9 and 55.8, respectively.

Last month’s report of a reduction of 4,000 jobs, plus downward revisions to the two previous months, has the markets, or at least market commentators, obsessing over today’s jobs number.

In the runup, ADP’s Employment Report released on Wednesday reported a pickup of 58,000 nonfarm jobs.

I don’t have a link, but radio reports I heard yesterday indicated that analysts think that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report 95,000 net new jobs. Haven’t heard much about the unemployment rate, so I suspect the consensus is that it will remain at 4.6%.

Also don’t have a link for this, but new jobless claims dipped below 300,000 last week, which if I recall correctly was the lowest number in about a year.

The Report (BLS release is here):

  • Unemployment — 4.7%, up 0.1% from August
  • New Establishment Survey Jobs — +110,000
  • Revisions to previous months — July, + 25,000 (from 68,000 to 93,000); August, +93,000 (from -4,000 to +89,000).
  • Net change in new jobs, including revisions to prior months — +228,000 (110 + 25 + 93)
  • Change in number of people working per the Household Survey — plus 463,000.

Quick Thoughts:

Wow — That three-month change is a lot of new jobs. The revisions to the previous months were especially nice to see. Last-month’s prior-month revisions went the other way, and I had feared it would be the beginning of a trend. The July and August revisions above are so big that Old Media reporters will be negligent if they don’t prominently note them. Pundits looking for clouds will probably point to the decrease in construction and manufacturing jobs, or to the slight uptick in the overall unemployment rate.

The changes to August make you wonder, first, what the hyperventilating was all about over August, and second, why people focus in so much on the current month without paying that much attention to changes made to the previous two.

Oh, and “the streak,” thought to be broken last month, is back — Net jobs have now increased for 48 straight months, the longest streak in at least the past 10 years.

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UPDATE: Also, in light of the change to August from -4,000 to +89,000, I await retractions of the following statements made in response to last month’s employment report –

Democratic candidates used the first monthly decline in employment in four years to attack Mr. Bush. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois said Mr. Bush’s economic policies demonstrated his “failure to lead.”

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said the jobs data proved the administration’s strategy was “not working for working Americans.”

With the reported change, I would hope, but don’t expect, that Obama (known as BOOHOO around here) will praise the president’s leadership, and that Mrs. Clinton will now inform us that the administration’s strategy IS working. Perhaps New York Times reporter Edmund Andrews, whose piece the excerpted quotes come from, will ask the two candidates for clarifications. (/sarc)

Related posts are at NewsBusters.org and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Wide Open blog.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (100507)

Hopefully moving a topic yours truly mentioned some time ago (final item at link) to the front burner, a blog called Center for College Affordability and Productivity addresses elite college endowment practices, particularly hoarding of funds (HT Instapundit) while financially strapped students and their parents pay through the nose.

If this isn’t an eye-popper, I don’t know what is (bold is mine):

I looked at three schools –Harvard, Yale, and the University of Virginia. At all three schools, less than four percent the average daily endowment base in the 2006-7 school year was spent. If Harvard and Yale had spent 5 percent and dedicated the increased spending to tuition reduction, they could have eliminated undergraduate tuition charges altogether — easily. If Virginia, which is a less well endowed public school, spent 5 percent and dedicated the added spending to tuition reduction for all students from families with less than $100,000 annual income, I would guesstimate that tuition could have been reduced well over $5,000 on average per student –an amount equal to about 60 percent of the in state tuition charges.

Seems like those who control these institutions, which generally lean quite a bit to the left, act like the worst of Scrooges when they control the purse strings — and routinely pass on tuition increases that are at least twice the rate of inflation year after year after year — while lecturing capitalist countries and others about their “greed.”

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“Elizabeth Edwards questions Limbaugh’s draft deferment” — There have been too many of these spousal attacks for all of them to have been spontaneous outbursts by Mrs. Edwards. So what is it about John Edwards that he uses his wife to the dirty jobs for him?
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Hugh Hewitt on The Left’s Great Snarl” over Rush:

Ten years ago the MSM might have been able to facilitate such an attack on Rush, but it is simply impossible today. Pushing a smear in the new media environment is a profoundly self-destructive bit of bad political theater that insults the audience’s intelligence while revealing the attackers’ character.

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More “Made in China” problems.

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Outrage of the morning I — Although I have known about each of these scams independently of each other, I first heard about the two being done in combination in a class I taught yesterday. The combination: “Mystery Shopper” and counterfeit checks.

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Outrage of the morning II — I had no idea that some gambling casinos are doing this, and I’m astonished that they’re allowed to:

Gambling has been recently labeled as the fastest growing addiction inside the United States. It has been a long known fact that some gamblers wager their car titles or even house mortgages.

Positivity: Bionic Cop — Police Officer Still On Patrol After Losing Both Legs

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:50 am

From Sacramento (video is also at link):

Created: 9/21/2007 1:09:20 PM
Updated: 9/21/2007 1:10:39 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California Highway Patrol officer involved in a tragic accident is back on patrol. After losing both legs, Officer Mike Remmel refused to retire even though the odds were stacked against him.

In a regular black and white patrol car, Officer Mike Remmel quietly pulls up to the CHP Academy in west Sacramento. On not one but two prosthetic legs, Officer Remmel is here to deliver a message. Officer Remmel says “this has been the goal from the third day after the accident.”

That accident almost took his life. It was January 10 of 2006.

Officer Remmel was finishing up at the scene of a routine accident when another driver came along and hit him. The collision severed his right foot and crushed his left leg. It took more than a year of intense physical therapy, 2-hours a day for Remmel to get in shape all on prosthetic legs.

His goal: get his life back and get back on patrol. His biggest obstacle, running 100 yards in 20 seconds, part of the fitness test for street worth officers.

The first day he set foot on a track was February of this year. Last month he did it, he passed that test. You can see how much faster he is on his high tech running legs. Today, Remmel has on his patrol legs and is back on duty.

Remmel is the first double amputee to return to full service with the CHP.

Officer Remmel says “it felt just like the day I graduated the academy and they gave this badge for the first time.”

Go here for the rest of the story.