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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rosenberg Daily: Employment numbers really bad, not (Gasp!) a "win-win" per CNBC

... excluding the Census worker layoffs, payrolls fell 18,000. Full stop. This marks the first time since December 2009 that the underlying level of nonfarm payrolls fell in a month. ...Make no mistake, the economy is on very soft ground; [it} is still 7.75 million jobs shy of where it was when the Great Recession began in late 2007 — by this stage of the cycle, what is normal is that we are either at a new peak or well on our way.

Moreover, when you adjust for the slide in the participation rate this cycle, the byproduct of a record number of discouraged workers withdrawing from their job search, the unemployment rate is actually closer to 12% than the 9.6% official posted rate in September, which masks the massive degree of labour market slack in the system. This is underscored by the broad U6 jobless rate measure, which spiked to a five-month high of 17.1% from 16.7% in August.

...wages stagnated in September — less than a 1-in-10 event — for the second time in the last four months...Together with the flat workweek, total work-related pay stagnated, in nominal terms, in September. And, when one takes into account the near 1% rise in gasoline prices, which are in the process of heading towards $3 a gallon, that is a significant wage cut in real terms...

Looking at the entire data release with a fine-tooth comb, it is safe to say that this was by far the weakest employment report of the year. In addition to stagnant wages and hours worked and the decline in full-time jobs and ex-Census employment, the diffusion indices, which measure the breadth of the private payroll employment gains, were very poor.
  • The median duration of unemployment edged up to 20.4 weeks from 19.9 in August;
  • The share of the long-term unemployed (over six months) stayed near a disturbingly high 42% (the highest this share ever rose in any of the past 10 recessions was 30%);
  • The 3% surge in the number of “permanent job losers” in September;
  • The 8% plunge in the number of people who quit their job in hopes of finding a better one (the so-called ‘quit rate’ was an old Greenspan favourite, in terms of gauging employee confidence in the labour market);
  • And, the eye-rubbing 612,000, or 7%, surge in the number of people working part time for “economic reasons”
The bottom line is that the employment data, in its entirety, have more double-dip thumbprints than many investors are acknowledging at the current time.
---Rosenberg today.  The whole piece is so good I've provided direct link here

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