June 3, 2015

So Now I’m Figuring Out How to Make Sure That …

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 6:00 pm

… from this point forward, I do as little as possible to put money in ESPN’s coffers (which is why there’s no link, and why I accessed the link myself from a cached ESPYs page) — though I know that a zero-out is probably impossible:


Courage personified?


Intelligence insulted.

For those who want their sports from another source, there’s (at least) The Sporting News — and yes, I know that there’s an item at that site whose author believes that Caitlyn Jenner has “courage.”

It’s an opinion piece. I disagree with it, but of course I don’t have a problem with its existence.

Its author can rest assured that I’m not going to obsess about a sports network which officially sees someone who hasn’t done anything noteworthy in sports for over 30 years who happens to have “changed” his gender as THE SINGLE MOST courageous sports figure of the year.

I’m just going to get my sports from somewhere else.

May ADP Private-Sector Payrolls: 201,000 Jobs Added (See Conference Call Notes)

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 8:15 am

Predictions: At Yahoo’s economic calendar — Briefing.com has 220,000 seasonally adjusted additions; the “markets” have 200,000.

The report will be here at 8:15.

HERE IT IS (direct link; press release): It’s closer to the lower end of the predictions —

Private sector employment increased by 201,000 jobs from April to May according to the May ADP National Employment Report®.

… Goods-producing employment rose by 9,000 jobs in May, after adding just 1,000 in April. The construction industry had another good month in May adding 27,000 jobs, up from 24,000 last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing lost 5,000 jobs in May, after losing 8,000 in April.

Service-providing employment rose by 192,000 jobs in May, a strong rise from 164,000 in April. The ADP National Employment Report indicates that professional/business services contributed 28,000 jobs in May, down from April’s 35,000. Trade/transportation/utilities grew by 56,000, up from April’s 41,000. The 12,000 new jobs added in financial activities is double last month’s 6,000.

“The labor market moved back up to the 200,000 jobs added mark in May, a number which has been something of a bellwether for healthy employment growth,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “We hope that the May number is the beginning of an upward trend going into the summer months.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market posted a solid gain in May. Employment growth remains near the average of the past couple of years. At the current pace of job growth the economy will be back to full employment by this time next year. The only blemishes are the decline in mining jobs due to the collapse in oil prices and the decline in manufacturing due to the strong dollar.”

Prior months are now as follows:
- April, 155K (originally 169K)
- March, 175K (originally 189K)
- February, 200K (originally 212K)
- Janaury 220K (originally 213K)

The net change from amounts originally reported so far this year is -33K. That’s not all that bad in the aggregate, but the February-May average of 183K is not all that great, and trails the average of the previous 9 months (246K) by about 25 percent.



ZANDI: “Another solid report.” A “pace double of what is necessary to absorb the working-age population.” If we maintain the current rate of growth, the economy will be back to full employment by this time next year.

You can feel this in the improvement in wage growth which “feels like” it’s beginning to pick up. ADP Workforce Vitality data suggests a pickup in wage growth. That will become more evident as the year progresses, which will support stronger consumer spending and perception about the economy.

People still don’t believe that the economy is doing as well as it is. (!!!)

Two blemishes: First, ill effects of collapse in oil prices, which will likely continue for several months at least through the third quarter. Responsible for most of the pullback in avearge monthly job growth.

Second blemish is the surge in the value of the dollar, hurting manufacturing employment. Mfg employment is going down.

In terms of employer size. Early in recovery big companies were doing the bulk of the net hiring. That has turned around, and now smaller companies are the leaders, while large companies are not adding much.

Increasing sense is that the job growth we are getting is not consistent with the rought GDP numbers we are getting. Increasing concern about slow productivity growth, but coming to the view that GDP data is likely understating growth in a consequential way, particularly in investment, particularly IT services (Snapchat and Facebook). BEA is not pickup up value-added and GDP growth in that sector, therefore missing growth (0.25% per annum). BEA will hopefully figure out how to capture that.

I do not believe that productivity growth has come to a standstill as indicated.

I would believe the labor data and not the GDP, esp given the rapid growth in the economy.

Encouraged that job growth is still stalwart.

GDP slowdown is temporary, and we will see a re-acceleration. Would strongly argue that Fed will begin to raise interest rates, not in June but in September. If we are at full employment in a year, wage and price pressures will be strong in late-2016/early 2017.


ME (residual seasonality and second-quarter GDP) — there is strong evidence that BEA has not fully accounted for seasonality. Weather-ports-oil. Thinks there’s something to that (residual seasonality). BEA is having increasing difficulty with that. 2.6% is 2Q15 estimate. Trade will push it up further to close to 3%.

ME (following up with a question about how Web 2.0 “production” isn’t getting picked up, b/c wouldn’t it be reflected in consumption) — Zandi believes that BEA is not getting the deflator right because it’s not adequately accounting for the “Quality and power of goods people are consuming.” (i.e., the deflator is not just for inflation, it’s also for inherent improvements in the quality of goods and services — Ed.)

“Richard” of Reuters (hiring by large multinationals) — Zandi thinks ill effects of energy sector will play out quickly. Surge in value of dollar will play out over time and will weigh on mfg through the remainder of this year and through maybe the first half of 2016. Will mitigate in second half of 2016.

Wage growth is a key tailwind which will start to whip up in the next 12-18 months. Also a stronger housing market, which has found its footing again. Spring selling season is much stronger. Feels like homebuilders are quickening their pace. Expect substantive pickup in SF and MF construction.

We should see stronger growth over the next couple of years.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060315)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: What does four decades as a priest look like? One bishop shares his story

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Bismarck, North Dakota:

May 28, 2015 / 03:50 am

On his 40th anniversary as a priest, Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck says he has a deeper understanding of his own vocation than when he was first ordained.

“My vocation is who I am and it is not just what I do at times. I think I understand much better now that I am a priest forever,” he told CNA in a recent interview. “This is a tremendous grace which gives me much consolation every day, but it is the daily challenge to me to be who I have been called to be in every way.”

His comments came after priests from the Diocese of Bismarck gathered along with loved ones on May 20 to mark jubilee anniversaries ranging from 10 to 60 years with Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

For Bishop Kagan, the strongest memory in 40 years of priesthood remains his ordination day in 1975, which came with an “exhortation to become what I celebrate at the altar of God.”

“I don’t think I am there yet, but by God’s mercy and grace I keep trying,” he added.

He says the best part of being a priest “has always been celebrating our Church’s liturgies, especially the liturgies of the Most Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation.”

Having served as Bishop of Bismarck since 2011, he said his favorite part of that role is two-fold: ordaining priests and administering the Sacrament of Confirmation.

“These give me such great hope and my own faith is always renewed at these times.”

In the time since his ordination, he’s seen many changes in the Church but “perhaps the most dramatic” was the introduction of face-to-face confession and the wide availability of the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism to the laity. Even now, he says he is “seeing and experiencing the good fruits of these changes.”

For the young men preparing for the priesthood in the seminaries, Bishop Kagan advised them not to “second guess God’s choice of you” but to “(h)umbly accept it and enter completely into priestly formation.”

“It does not end with Ordination, your priestly formation goes with you into the priesthood. Enjoy it now and keep it fresh and vital as it will stand you in good stead as a priest,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.