August 5, 2016

AP Rewrites History: Al Gore Would Likely Have Won in 2000 If ‘Undervotes’ Counted

History is apparently subject to revision without notice and without basis at the Associated Press.

In an outrageous report primarily dedicated to the notion that Donald Trump’s concerns about the November general elections possibly being rigged thanks to potential voter fraud “challenges (the) U.S. Democratic system” — but a whole host of leftist-inspired rigging efforts apparently don’t — Vivian Salama at the Associated Press informed readers in a later paragraph that Al Gore, according to “several post-mortem reviews,” “would have won” the 2000 presidential election if “undervotes” had all been counted.


This Argument That Trump’s Win Is All But Certain …

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:24 pm

may turn out to be prescient, but to me it seems as likely that it’s an argument that Trump will get the majority of the popular vote, and by a fairly wide margin, yet still lose in the Electoral College.

July 2016 Employment Situation Summary (080516): 255K Jobs Added, Unemployment Rate at 4.9 Percent; Questionable Private Sector Seasonal Conversion After Lowest Actual July Job Adds Since 2012

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:25 am

Econ catchup:

  • Second-Quarter GDP came in at an annualized 1.2 percent a week ago. The first quarter was revised down to 0.8 percent. In the seven years since the recesseion official end after the second quarter of 2009, the economy has grown at an annual compound rate of 2.075 percent, by far the worst performance since World War II.
  • July ISM Manufacturing — 52.6 percent (any reading above 50 percent signals expansion), down slightly from 53.2 percent in June.
  • July ISM Non-Manufacturing — 55.5 percent, down from 56.5 percent in June.
  • June Construction spending — down 0.6 percent. May’s original -0.8 percent was revised to -0.1 percent. Seasonally adjusted contstruction spending, which had been significant positive economic contributor during most of the past year or so, has declined by 3.6 percent in the past three months.
  • July ADP private-sector payrolls — 179,000 jobs added.
  • July Auto sales — up by 0.7 percent over July 2015. Year-to-date sales are up by 1.3 percent. General Motors’ year-to-date market share is below 17 percent. The traditional Big 3 U.S. makers have a 45.0 percent year-to-date market share, almost identical to last year’s 45.1 percent. GM’s loss of 0.9 points in market share has gone to Chrysler and Ford.
  • Final June factory orders — down 1.5 percent, and a combined 2.7 percent in the past two months. Year-over-year new orders have declined for 20 straight months, the longest such losing streak on record.
  • June Personal income and spending — up by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent in real terms. Real personal consumption expenditures increased by 1.2 percent in the second quarter, even though real disposable income only increased by 0.2 percent.

Jobs report predictions:

Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks — Here’s the landscape:


As seen above, on the total nonfarm side, July is a month of huge reductions. Predicting results is difficult, and the seasonal conversion is dicey at best. But it seems, based on the pattern seen since the recession ended, that a genuinely solid performance would involved the loss of fewer than 900,000 jobs.

In the private sector, the raw number of job additions needs to be at least 250,000.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (full HTML link): The initial numbers are strong, pending a further look —

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 255,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Employment in mining continued to trend down.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent in July, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August of last year.

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates in July were little changed for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites, (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.4 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (5.4 percent).

In July, the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks decreased by 258,000. At 2.0 million, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was about unchanged over the month and accounted for 26.6 percent of the unemployed.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, changed little in July.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 255,000 in July. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Mining employment continued to trend down.

Professional and business services added 70,000 jobs in July and has added 550,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Within the industry, employment rose by 37,000 in professional and technical services in July, led by computer systems design and related services (+8,000) and architectural and engineering services (+7,000). Employment in management and technical consulting services continued to trend up (+6,000).

In July, health care employment increased by 43,000, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+19,000), hospitals (+17,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 477,000 jobs.

Employment in financial activities rose by 18,000 in July and has risen by 162,000 over the year.

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in July (+45,000). Employment in food services and drinking places changed little in July (+21,000); this industry has added an average of 18,000 jobs per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 30,000 in 2015.

Government employment edged up in July (+38,000).

Employment in mining continued to trend down over the month (-6,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in this industry has fallen by 220,000, or 26 percent.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, and information, showed little or no change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in July. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.7 hours, while overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls also increased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents to $25.69. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $21.59 in July.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +11,000 to +24,000, and the change for June was revised from +287,000 to +292,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 18,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 190,000 per month.

More later.

Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks:

  • Total nonfarm — 1.043 million jobs were lost. The benchmark was 900,000. In the context of last year alone, the seasonal conversion to +255K seems overstated. In the context of the past five years, it seems fine.
  • Private sector — only 85,000 jobs were added, the lowest July since 2012, and miles lower than last year’s 228K. The benchmark was 250,000. The seasonal conversion to +217K looks to be overstated by about 50,000.

UPDATE: Observations (figures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated) —

  • The civilian workforce has finally had two straight months of decent increases (+407K this month, +414K in June). But June’s increase only offset a similar decrease in May, which had timeliness problems in reporting, so we really only have one decent month in this metric.
  • Household survey employment increased by 420,000.
  • Both overall indices of participation added a tenth of a point. But the related indices for African-American men over 20 fell.
  • Full-time employment increased by 306K. Part-timers increased by a slightly disproporationate 105K.
  • The fully-loaded unemployment rate increased to 9.7 percent.
  • Manufacturing added 9K jobs. In the past 12 monts, it’s down by 31K.
  • Temporary employment increased once again, this time by 17K, but BLS didn’t think that number, which in percentage terms is far greater than most other job category figures cited, was worth reporting. Temp employment is at an alltime record 2.93 million. The prerecession peak was 2.66 million.
  • The 38K increase in government employment occurred because there were fewer summer layoffs (1.115 million), the lowest figure since 2006.
  • The average work week inrease drove a $5.33 increase in average weekly pay. Still, July’s $886.31 is only 2.3 percent higher than 12 months earlier. On the hourly rate side, July’s $25.69 is 2.6 percent higher than the $25.03 seen in July 2015. Official inflation during the past 12 months has been about 1 percent. Why there’s a “wages are rising significantly” meme is a mystery to me.
  • After prior-month revisions, the private sector still lost 1,000 jobs in May, breaking a 74-month winning streak — at least until the comprehensive revisions to the jobs numbers are officially incorporated next year. At that point, I expect that May’s strangely low figures and June’s high numbers will get smoothed.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (080516)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: Youngest US track Olympian relies on God when times get tough

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Newark, New Jersey:

Aug 5, 2016 / 03:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Sydney McLaughlin has not had an easy year.

In recent months, she fell ill with mononucleosis, her mother suffered a heart attack, and she underwent a nervous breakdown before a major qualifying track competition.

So when she became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic track and field team on July 10, the victory was extra sweet.

What gets 16-year-old McLaughlin through the stress and pressure that inevitably comes with competing with some of the world’s top athletes? Her Christian faith.

“Something like track is a very mental sport,” she told CNA during a press teleconference, “there’s a lot of pressure and there’s a lot of expectation put on you.”

“Sticking to what I know and believing that everything I’ve been given comes from God definitely played a big role for me,” she said.

On July 10, McLaughlin finished third in the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S trials in Oregon. That made her the youngest member on the U.S. track and field team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next month.

Originally from Dunellen, New Jersey, McLaughlin attends Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains.

As a Christian, the young Olympian explained that her faith in God has helped her throughout the journey.

She described the pressure and expectations leading up to the qualifying Olympic trials as much more than a typical meet.

“It became overwhelming at one point,” she said.

It’s a competition with the best of the best, added her father, Willie McLaughlin. He said the experience was similar for him.

In 1984, he qualified for the 400-meter semifinals at the Olympic trials but failed to make the Olympic team.

“Running the Olympic trials was the single most stressful thing I’ve ever done in my life. Hands down.”

McLaughlin’s mother was also a runner and her older brother, Taylor McLaughlin, currently competes in the 400-meter hurdles for Michigan University.

The young athlete said that she only found the courage to compete with the help of her family and coaches. Despite panicking at the Olympic trials and nearly turning back, McLaughlin ended up setting a world junior record at 54.14 seconds.

The fact that the trials were at night made her think about the big race all day. To get on the line at the first race and go from round to round, somehow making the team, “definitely showed this is God’s plan for me.”…

Go here for the rest of the story.