September 5, 2013

ADP Private Sector Jobs (+176K); Initial Unemployment Claims (323K SA; NSA Claims Down 13% From Same Week Last Year); See ADP Conference Call Notes

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 am

Predictions (both per Business Insider):

  • ADP — 177,000 private sector jobs added.
  • Initial unemployment claims — a seasonally adjusted 330,000.

ADP will be here at 8:15. Initial claims will be here at 8:30.

I’m going to be on ADP’s conference call starting at 8:45, and will take live notes.

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ADP (permanent link):

Private-sector employment increased by 176,000 from July to August, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Highlights:
- Small businesses (1-49 employees) +71,000
- Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +74,000
- Large businesses (500 or more employees) +32,000

July was revised up to 198,000.

From the press release:

“The U.S. private sector added 176,000 jobs in August, as companies of all sizes expanded their payrolls over the previous month,” said Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “The August job gains are in line with the monthly average over the last 12 months.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “It is steady as she goes in the job market. Job gains in August were consistent with increases experienced over the past two-plus years. There is little evidence that fiscal austerity and Health Care Reform have had a significant impact on the job market.”

Really, Mark?

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Initial claims (permanent link):

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending August 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 323,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 332,000. The 4-week moving average was 328,500, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 331,500.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 268,843 in the week ending August 31, a decrease of 9,781 from the previous week. There were 309,537 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

The year-to-year seasonal adjustment factors barely differed.

Initial claims of 325,000 per week isn’t too bad; getting closer to substantive job gains and lower unemployment.

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ADP Conference Call:

(Zandi’s Comments)

Numbers were consistent with kind of job growth we’ve been getting in past months and years. Remarkably consistent.

Job gains registered in every major industry. First time in a long time.

Job gains across all company sizes. Small guys are starting to kick in, which wasn’t happening a few years ago.

Says he would have expected more of a slowdown b/c of sequester and health care reform, but it’s not happening. Job creation consistent even at the 50-employee Obamacare threshold. So job market has held up better.

It is possible that the script is still being played out.

Next round of sequester cuts might be more harmful.

Reasonable to argue that market would be stronger if not for sequester and health care reform.

All together, encouraging that job market has weathered storm as well as it has.

Still hasn’t kicked into high gear, but getting closer.

(Q&A)

(ME — on Full-time/Part-time trends) — BLS data is very volatile. Hard to conclude that there’s a trend in the data. Much too early to conclude. (He said he’s NOT able to get PT/FT info from ADP data, which is surprising and really disappointing. I think it’s in there at a sophisticated, data-driven company like ADP, and he’s just not receiving it. One wonders if he’s even interested.) Overall PT/FT workforce mix hasn’t changed that much.

(Next Q on Fed taper) — Taper won’t begin until Oct. If ADP is “ratified” tomorrow, odds are very high that they’ll begin to taper, but very modestly to maybe $70-70 bil instead of current $85 bil. Yields have raised to a level higher than he expected. Stock market seems to be holding firm, suggesting that runup in interest rates has a lot to do with a better economy.

Those were the only questions.

As to Zandi’s answer to my question: I guess getting hit over the head with a 2×4 (77% PT vs. 23% FT job adds so far this year, the statement within which I framed my question) isn’t enough. I guess next month we’ll get out the 4×6 and see what happens. The kind of change he thinks he needs to see in the FT/PT mix is way higher than the regular observer needs to say that something unusual is going on in the job market, and Obamacare’s 30-hour full-time definition is the obvious prime suspect.

13 Relevant Reports at AP’s National Site Fail to Quote Obama’s ‘I Didn’t Set a Red Line’ Statement

Yestereday in Stockholm at the G20 summit, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare: “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.” For years, the press obsessed over the alleged untruthfulness of President George W. Bush’s “16 words” (“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”) in his 2003 State of the Union address. Today, the Associated Press won’t even directly quote the first six of Obama’s.

Regardless of whether one thinks that Obama’s statement is an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility for his original “red line” (i.e., in the sand) statement a year ago or an assertion that his year-ago statement merely affirmed what the rest of the world believes, it’s news, and should be presented to the nation’s readers and viewers in quotes. But not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, which is barely recognizing the existence of the “red line” at all.
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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (090513)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically; items time-stamped 6:05 a.m., if any, were posted earlier and held).
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Positivity: ‘Missouri Miracle’ crash survivor’s road to recovery

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Quincy, Illinois:

Posted: 08.28.2013 at 4:55 PM

Katie Lentz gets a little stronger every day.

Three weeks ago the19-year-old Quincy-native’s life changed on Missouri Route 19 in rural Ralls County, Mo. There her car collided head on with a vehicle driven by a man crash investigators say was under the influence of alcohol.

Trapped and scared that rescue workers would be unable to free her from the wreckage, Lentz asked the firefighters and EMS workers summoned to save her life to pray with her.

A traveling priest appeared seemingly out of nowhere to pray with Katie and the rescue crew.

Together they prayed out loud.

Lentz’s tale of faith and survival took the Internet by storm. It appeared on CNN, Good Morning America and in newspapers and on television programs around the world.

The head-on collision nearly took her life. She suffered more than a dozen broken bones. The aspiring dentist attends Tulane University but was forced to put college on hold.

Her spirit touched hundreds of thousands of people around the world, but in recovery, she remains grounded in both spirt and faith.

“I haven’t come to the full realization that I had a near death experience,” she said during an interview Wednesday at Blessing Hospital. “It hasn’t hit me yet.”

Lentz has had to relearn everyday tasks that most people take for granted. For example, she has had to relearn how to put on her shoes.

The classically trained violinist works on her fine motor skills using pegs that help restore the strength and dexterity of her fingers. Doctors removed countless stitches from her leg, which she said was extremely painful. She can now walk 150 feet down a hallway without stopping.

“Every day is different though, because some days they really work me hard, and I’m so sore afterwards,” she said. “I’m not having a whole lot of pain right now, so everything is manageable, tolerable. It’s going pretty well. I try hard everyday.”

Lentz received cards from people across the country, many from people she has never met. There also will be a celebration of her survival at a Sept. 4 benefit at the Quincy City Hall parking lot. …

Go here for the rest of the story.