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Monday, December 11, 2006

Healthy Salad Job Growth?

Our fellow traveller Dr. James Hamilton at Econbrowser notes job growth remains solid. We comment... If job growth is "solid"...

From initial claims, both initial claims and continuing claims 4 week averages are increasing, unemployment also ticked up from 4.4 to 4.5%.

This shows an "uptrend" in the number of jobless claims.

I'm having a flashback.... remember the "headline" earlier this year, wages were "increasing" and there was wage inflation "danger" on the horizon....

After the recent revisions for one off year end bonus, exercise of stock options and increases that benefitted only rich capital holders...

buried on page 8, nominal wages were at best stagnant and real wages were declining. But I digress...

The "headline" BLS numbers aren't worth the ink used to print them, until the ink has dried for 6 months to 1 year, and even then... always subject to further statistical manipulation.

Enough splitting hairs, as the truly disturbing data is buried under the "headline" news, within the Non Farms report...

Less durable economy jobs.... Factory employment -15K, goods producing sectors -40K, construction jobs -29K.

and more non durable, non benefit, low paying McJobs: retail employment +20K, service sector +172K.

Would you like a "healthy" McSalad with your Big Mac?


At Mon Dec 11, 08:38:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice site Nat.
BLS is a lot better than the commentary (even some of yours, yes?) some give it.
James is atleast more consistent and, how shall we put this (given Mencken above), more respectful for all those hard-working pencils.
I see no expansions of McDs to account for the retail staff which is paradoxically opposed to the sales volumes tally so far. (See? what would we do if we trash the pencil-pushers indiscriminantly?)
This exodus from goods to services goes on only for so long IMO. Even the RE agents with average sales of <2/yr goes on only for so long...


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