Tag Archives | employment

Unemployment is worse than it looks

The U.S civilian unemployment rate reached new lows of 3.6% in April – numbers last seen 51 years ago in 1968: There are a number of ways to use the national unemployment rate to signal recession, but almost all of them are co-incident to slightly lagging in the warning they provide. We have the most […]

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Horrific revisions to HWOL data

The Conference Board Help-Wanted-Online (HWOL) program is closely followed by us to get a feel for the labor market. It is one of over two dozen labor indicators we examine. The monthly HWOL data have been produced by the Conference Board since May 2005, replacing the Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads, which was […]

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Mixed Signals from Labor Market

We keep getting good news about employment and the labor market. But we rarely see the less optimistic numbers. THE GOOD Yellen’s Labor Dashboard (see here) is looking strong with all but 3 of the 9 components above pre-recession levels: The Employment Trend Index briefly wavered but now seems to be picking up steam again […]

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NBER’s Big-4 Indicators had a narrow miss

Reading through all the positive press about jobs numbers and so forth, its hard to comprehend that the 4 main indicators used by the National Buro of Economic Research (NBER) to determine US recessions, had a narrow miss recently. If you recall from our popular 2012 article, the NBER does not define a recession in […]

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Animation : The incredible US employment recovery

Below is an animation of the annual average unemployment rate per U.S state from 2011 onward. It’s quite incredible to see how unemployment was erased state-by-state over the years: However statewide improvements in employment have probably peaked-out as shown in the chart below, which depicts the aggregate (equal weighted) inverse 6-month unemployment rate growth for […]

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Yellen Labor Dashboard reaches target

“Full Employment” target reached Shortly after taking up office, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen  used her “jobs data dashboard”  to justify the Fed’s easy money policies and to argue there’s still considerable slack in the labor market  five years after the recession’s end. Seven of the nine gauges on  this dashboard had not recovered to levels […]

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Labor Market flags U.S Recession on horizon

Labor data last week surprised to the upside and pointed to an improvement in hiring and by implication the labor market. However, our leading Labor Market Growth Index, which tracks various diversified aspects of the general U.S labor market, experienced a sharp drop for the data representing the end of  October 2013, to below the […]

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