June 5, 2015

AP’s Will Weissert: Perry’s Reference to God-Given Rights Is ‘A Nod to the Tea Party’

On Thursday, the Associated Press’s Will Weissert demonstrated that the ignorance of our nation’s founding documents exhibited by Meredith Shiner at Yahoo Politics in March is not isolated to her.

Readers may recall that Shiner, reacting to Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement speech, tweeted: “Bizarre to talk about how rights are God-made and not man-made in your speech announcing a POTUS bid? When Constitution was man-made?” In covering Rick Perry’s presidential announcement, Weissert showed similar ignorance.


May Employment Situation Summary (060515): 280K Jobs Added, Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.5 Percent; Two-Month Results Still Heavy on Part-Timers

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:24 am

Predictions, from Yahoo’s Business Calendar — 225,000 to 235,000 seasonally adjusted job additions, with the unemployment rate staying at 5.4 percent.

Not Seasonally adjusted bencmarks: Last month, the raw results were pretty strong, and really would have justified a seasonally adjusted result of about 300,000:


The problem was that an extraordinarily high percentage of the jobs added last month (about 40 percent) were part-time.

This month, the economy needs to have added 950,000 jobs overall, and the same number in the private sector, with at least 80 percent of them full-time jobs, to be on track for meaningful progress. The guess here is that the jobs benchmarks will come very close to being achieved, and that the seasonally adjusted result will be an upside surprise.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

HERE IT IS (permanent link to full HTML version) — yep, it’s a big number:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 280,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care. Mining employment continued to decline.

Household Survey Data

In May, both the unemployment rate (5.5 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.7 million) were essentially unchanged. Both measures have shown little movement since February.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.0 percent), adult women (5.0 percent), teenagers (17.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.2 percent), Asians (4.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.7 percent) showed little or no change in May.

… In May, the civilian labor force rose by 397,000, and the labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.9 percent. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of
62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was essentially unchanged in May.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 280,000 in May, compared with an average monthly gain of 251,000 over the prior 12 months. In May, job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care. Employment in mining continued to decline.

Professional and business services added 63,000 jobs in May and 671,000 jobs over the year. In May, employment increased in computer systems design and related services (+10,000). Employment continued
to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in management and technical consulting services (+7,000), and in architectural and engineering services (+5,000).

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 57,000 in May, following little change in the prior 2 months. In May, employment edged up in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+29,000). Employment in food services and drinking places has shown little net change over the past 3 months.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +85,000 to +119,000, and the change for April was revised from +223,000 to +221,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 32,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 207,000 per month.

Benchmark results:
- Total nonfarm — 970K actual vs. 950K benchmark
- Private sector — 995K actual vs. 950K benchmark

Both the results beat the benchmarks for the first time in a very long time, and, in context of prior years, the seasonally adjusted results of 280K and 262K seem to reflect the underlying raw data.

More in a bit after a look under the hood.

UPDATE Notes (figures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated):

  • At last, there was a tiny favorable change in the malaise indicators, but there’s a very long way to go. Both participation-related stats went up 0.1 points: the labor force participation rate to 62.9 percent and the employment-population ratio went to 59.4 percent. The “not in labor force” dropped by 208K, or about half of the 397K increase in the civilian workforce.
  • The black unemployment rate went back into double digits, rising from 9.6 percent to 10.2 percent. Blacks’ participation-related metrics most fell or stayed the same.
  • The volatile full-time and part-time numbers, which were heavy on part-timers last month, went the other way in May. After an April drop of 252K, full-time employment went up by 630K. After increasing by 437K in April, part-time employment dropped by 232K. Full-time employment, at 121.402 million, is STILL 473K below its November 2007 peak of 121.875 million, but may finally top that figure in a few months. That will be pretty close to eight years for a full-time employment recovery, which is certainly a record non-achievement. The two-month totals of 378K full-time (i.e., 65 percent) and 205K part-time (35 percent) don’t reflect the ratio you’d like to see long-term at all. This bears a close watch in th coming months.
  • On Establishment Survey jobs added, 36K have come in temps during the past two months, well over one-quarter of the jobs added in “professional and business services.”
  • The BLS narrative’s claim that “Employment in food services and drinking places has shown little net change over the past 3 months” is really disingenuous. February showed a decline, and that supposedly hardly-changed three-month total is 26K. But it’s up by 35,000 in the past two months, and by a whopping 355,000 in the past 12 (a 30K/month average), or 11.6 percent of all jobs added during the past year (for a segment that is about 7 percent of the workforce.

Overall, April and May have been among the strongest months since the recession officially ended. It took almost seven years to see them, which is ridiculous, and we need at least a dozen more.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060515)

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.


I learned about this yesterday in an email from the prolife group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust. I’m curious as to whether readers old enough to have been paying attention to the news back in 1980 heard about it (bolds are mine):

In 1980 Malvin Weisberg, who lived in an upscale neighborhood in Woodland Hills (California), in the western side of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, began to purchase with payments a large (20’x8’x8’) land/sea storage container from the Martin Container company in Wilmington. Weisberg supposedly needed the steel box to store tennis court lights.

Weisberg defaulted on his payments for the container, until finally the Martin company came on February 3, 1982 to repossess the large box.

On February 4, when workers opened the doors to the steel box now parked in the container yard in Wilmington, they were overwhelmed with the stench of decaying human flesh. When they looked inside, they saw bodies strewn among open boxes and plastic buckets. One worker described the scene as a “war zone” and reported watching a headless body tumble forward.

During the news conference (following the discovery) photos of many of the aborted babies were shown to the media. Several reporters became hostile and alleged that the photos were illegal. Incensed by the reporter’s lack of compassion, Roberti shouted, “They took pictures at Auschwitz” and then accused reporters of “convoluted morality.”

After a lengthy court battle between Los Angeles County and the abortion industry, the 16,433 bodies were crammed into several large pine boxes and buried at Odd Fellows Cemetery in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles on October 6, 1985.

More details are here (warning: graphic photos are present, but you have to proactively click on a frame to see them).

The abortion industry and the ACLU wanted the bodies incinerated.

The abortion facility operator declared bankruptcy and was never prosecuted, despite obvious violation of laws relating to the disposal of “waste.”

I wasn’t paying really, really close attention, but I had no idea this happened, and I’m quite surprised that I didn’t know.

Positivity: Mother gets second chance at prom thanks to special date

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Pontiac, Michigan:

May 15, 2015, 7:26 PM

For most of the seniors at Waterford Kettering High School outside Detroit, prom is optional — but not for Danotiss Smith. Every time he even suggested not going, he got a tearful lecture from his mom, Belinda Smith, who told him he was going to do everything that she wasn’t able to do when she was younger.

Belinda grew up dirt poor. Her family couldn’t afford to send her to prom.

“Every day I came home from high school I cried because I wanted to go,” said Belinda.

That’s why she vowed Danotiss would have the opportunity. And that’s why she was so disappointed when it seemed like he wasn’t going to take it. Every time she asked him about prom he was evasive — until about a month ago, when he finally came clean.

Danotiss asked Belinda if she wanted to go to prom with him. She, of course, said yes.

Go here for the full story.