November 9, 2015

One Reason to Temper the Enthusiasm Over Friday’s October Jobs Report

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:08 pm

As I noted on Friday, though the malaise factors relating to worker participation didn’t move much, many aspects of the government’s October jobs report were strong, and the seasonally adjusted figure of 271,000 jobs added probably understated the underlying strength.

That said, Zero Hedge made an interesting point today about retail hiring.

ZH looked at the seasonally adjusted data. I think the raw, not seasonally adjusted data requires a separate look:

The 2012-2014 trend has been to do more and more raw hiring in October and somewhat less in November to apparently get geared up for the ever-earlier emphasis on Christmas shopping. Anyone who’s been out shopping during the past week knows that no one is holding back on promoting Christmas (yeah, I know, “holiday”) shopping in early November any more.

It’s worth looking at the three-month (Oct.-Dec.) and five-month (Oct. to Feb. of the following year) hiring patterns of  the past three years:

  • 2012 — Three-month, +724K; five month, -66K
  • 2013 — Three-month, +787K; five-month, -1K
  • 2014 — Three-month, +755K; five month, -44K

October’s year-over-year increases during the past two years were more than completely offset by year-over-year decreases in November, the next month. Then in 2014, December even went lower than December 2013. This doesn’t bode well for retail hiring during the final two months of this year. That said, unless the Christmas season is unusually slow, it looks like the net let-gos in January and February of 2016 may not be particularly severe.

Zero Hedge’s larger point is that we last saw an analogous retail hiring splurge at the same time as other indicators were pointing downward in late 2007, the year before the economy went into a recession as normal people define it, and that history may be repeating itself. News that consumers’ expectations of income growth during the coming year hit an all-time low in a report by the New York Federal Reserve supports that contention.

MSNBC: 2.7-Degree Celsius Increase Equals 37 Degrees Farenheit

At the math-challenged mess known as MSNBC, the network’s “all new video experience” known as “Shift by MSNBC” tweeted a dire warning: “Latest UN report says humanity will warm the planet by 2.7˚C or roughly 37˚F.” Though not revealed in the tweet, this warming will allegedly occur by 2100.

If MSNBC’s conversion were true, it would of course mean that the earth as we know it is in dire straits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the ignoramuses at MSNBC, 2.7 degrees Celsius equates to roughly 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit — and even that estimate, based on the track record of computer models which have been predicting the arrival of catastrophic global warming, looks (excuse the expression) cooked.


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110915)

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: Taylor Swift makes young cancer patient’s dream come true at Georgia Dome

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Atlanta (HT Daryn Kagan):

Posted on October 26, 2015 5:51 pm

A 6-year-old girl battling cancer got a well-deserved surprise Sunday when she met Taylor Swift at the Georgia Dome.
In, April, Taylor Rayburn was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is appears on the kidney.

According to a Facebook post by her mom, Allison Rayburn, little Taylor was surprised with a trip to Atlanta to see Swift’s concert Sunday.

“She wasn’t able to celebrate on her real birthday so we thought we would surprise her and take her,” Allison wrote on Facebook. “No idea her dream of meeting (Swift) would come true!”

According to the post, Swift’s mom, Andrea, found them in the audience and pulled little Taylor backstage to meet Swift.

“Thank you Mrs. Andrea and Taylor Swift for making my child’s year! She needed this!” wrote Allison.

Little Taylor could hardly believe her luck that night.

“She left saying, ‘I can’t tell if this is a dream or for real,’” Allison wrote. …

Daryn Kagan wrote: “Something tells me this isn’t the first time she has done something like this or the last.”

Go here for the rest of the story.