Tag Archives: unemployment rate

The Real Data Show The Real Economy Hit A Wall

The economy is melting down – the only support for the Propaganda Narrative of a “booming economy” is a rising stock market. Without a doubt Trump has ordered the Working Group on Financial Markets – AKA “the Plunge Protection Team” – to push stocks higher for now so insiders can unload.

The huge jump in credit card debt reported yesterday by the Fed was received as “good news” for consumer spending. However, this is typical  technical color vomit served up through the mainstream financial media by Establishment “economists” and Wall Street. The likely explanation is that the average consumer is now forced to use revolving credit in order to maintain the current lifestyle.  This assertion is reinforced by the fact that the latest data from Transunion show that personal loans hit a record high in Q1 2018.

The homebuilder sector is in trouble. A Colorado-based credit union is now offering 0-percent down payment mortgages. Credit Union of Colorado will underwrite the 3% down payment FNM/FRE mortgage product and it will cover the remaining 3% of a home’s cost by giving the “buyer” an interest-free loan that is repayable at a future date or through a refinancing. The bank is charging 0.375% more for the mortgage than the rate for a 3% down payment conforming mortgage. The bank is betting the value of these homes will rise enough to cover the 3% down payment loan through a refinancing.  This is a de facto zero-down payment mortgage sponsored by the Government. 

I am certain that this product reflects the fact that banks are getting desperate for mortgage fees because the pool of borrowers who can qualify for FNM/FRE/FHA loans has dried up. The economy hit a wall in the last month or two and it’s going to crush the housing market. By the end of the summer it will be impossible for the NAR and the media puppets to blame low sales on low inventory.

In fact, recent reports from around the country show that home listings are soaring. This includes Seattle, where King County reported a 43% jump in single-family home listings in June, and Orange County (SoCal), which saw a 218% jump in home listings YTD. A 10% drop in contracts in Orange Country was also reported (The Orange County Register). In Denver, new rate of new listings exceeds contract signings now by a considerable amount.

The June employment report continues to show a “tight labor market.” This is utter nonsense given that over 95 million working age people are no longer consider part of the “labor force” using the methodology devised to compute unemployment by the Government. Again, “however…”

…the “tight labor market” narrative is not confirmed by help-wanted advertising. Help-wanted advertising is considered an accurate indicator of broad economy. The Conference Board has been tracking help-wanted advertising going back to 1919.  Formal tracking of help-wanted advertising shifted from tracking ads in printed media to tracking help-wanted ads online in 2005.

The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Online Advertising for June declined 3.7% from May. May was down 2.1% from April. April was down 1.4%. The May and April declines were revised lower in the latest report from the original reports. New ads were down 4.6% in June from June 2017. The total number of ads were down 5.7% year-over-year for June.

The fact that help-wanted ads as tracked by the Conference Board are declining sharply month-to-month and year-over-year reinforces my view (and I’m not alone in this view) that the real economy – as opposed to the “fake news” economy reported in the mainstream media – is contracting.

A portion of the above commentary is an excerpt from the latest Short Seller’s Journal. My subscribers and I are making easy money shorting the home construction sector as well as other select stocks. This includes specific ideas for using put options plus market timing. You can learn more about this newsletter here:   Short Seller’s Journal information

WTF Just Happened: President Trump, BLS & MSM Still Lying About The US Economy

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released its “hey man, lots of jobs open” report last week.  The problem is that the credibility of the report is only as good as the credibility of the organization that prepares the report.  In this case, the BLS and Census Bureau, both of which are notorious for highly suspect data collection and data “adjustment” techniques (true story:  sometimes Census Bureau agents just make it up if they don’t have time to keep canvassing after lunch).  Our take is that most of the job listings spit out by the BLS sausage grinder are fictitious.

In addition to this, and interpreted by the media spin-meisters and Government propagandists as evidence that “Trump’s trade war is working” and “the economy is running full bore,” the trade deficit report for April showed a large percentage drop in the trade deficit.   Indeed, the trade deficit fell month to month the most since 2008. If you buy into the narrative that the economy is strong, you don’t want the trade deficit to decline in correlation with a similar decline in 2008. In truth, the trade deficit declined because imports fell more than exports rose. Imports are falling because personal consumption spending is now contracting per the latest GDP revision. It used to be, a long time ago, that the trade report was called the “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services” report. Now it’s simply referenced as “the trade deficit report.”

Final, we believe that the best time to accumulate a winning investment is when no one else wants to hear about it. The U.S. investor sentiment toward the precious metals and mining stock sector is almost as bad as it was in late November 2015, which is when the 5-year bear cycle – which followed an 11-year bull cycle – came to an end. We explain why the next leg in the secular precious metals bull market is about to take off this week episode of, “WTF Just Happened?“:

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Visit these links to learn more about the Investment Research Dynamic’s Mining Stock Journal and Short Seller’s JournalThe mining stocks are historically cheap and percolating for a big move higher.  I recommended shorting Hovnanian at $2.88 in January  – it closed at $1.95 on Friday and has been as low as $1.70.

Paul Craig Roberts: Make Believe America

Americans live a never-never-land existance. The politicians and presstitutes make sure of that.

Consider something as simple as the unemployment rate. The US is said to have full employment with a January 2018 unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, down from 9.8 percent in January 2010 – BLS Statistics.

However, the low rate of unemployment is contradicted by the long-term decline in the labor force participation rate. After a long rise during the Reagan 1980s, the labor force participation rate peaked in January 1990 at 66.8 percent, more or less holding to that rate for another decade until 2001 when decline set in accelerating in September 2008.

Today the labor force participation rate is the lowest since February 1978, reversing all of the gains of the Reagan years.

Allegedly, the current unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the result of the long recovery that allegedly began in June 2009. However, normally, employment opportunities created by economic recovery cause an increase in the labor force participation rate as people join the work force to take advantage of employment opportunities. A fall in the participation rate is associated with recession or stagnation, not with economic recovery.

How can this contradiction be reconciled? The answer lies in the measurement of unemployment. If you have not looked for a job in the last four weeks, you are not counted as being unemployed, because you are not counted as being part of the work force. When there are no jobs to be found, job seekers become discouraged and cease looking for jobs. In other words, the 4.1 percent unemployment rate does not count discouraged workers who cannot find jobs.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a second measure of unemployment that includes workers who have been discouraged and out of the labor force for less than one year. This rate of unemployment is 8.2 percent, double the 4.1 percent reported rate.

The US government no longer tracks unemployment among discouraged workers who have been out of the work force for more than one year. However, John Williams of shadowstats.com continues to estimate this rate and places it at 22 or 23 percent, a far cry from 4.1 percent.

In other words, the 4.1 percent unemployment rate does not count the unemployed who do show up in the declining labor force participation rate.

If the US had a print and TV media instead of the propaganda ministry that it has, the financial press would not tolerate the deception of the public about employment in America.

Junk economists, of which the US has an over-supply, claim that the decline in the labor force participation rate merely reflects people who prefer to live on welfare than to work for a living and the current generation of young people who prefer life at home with parents paying the bills. This explanation from junk economists does not explain why suddenly Americans discovered welfare and became lazy in 2001 and turned their back on job opportunities. The junk economists also do not explain why, if the economy is at full employment, competition for workers is not driving up wages.

The reason Americans cannot find jobs and have left the labor force is that US corporations have offshored millions of American jobs in order to raise profits, share prices, and executive bonuses by lowering labor costs. Many American industrial and manufacturing cities have been devastated by the relocation abroad of production for the American consumer market, by the movement abroad of IT and software engineering jobs, and by importing lower paid foreign workers on H1-B and other work visas to take the jobs of Americans. In my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, I give examples and document the devastating impact jobs offshoring has had on communities, cities, pension funds, and consumer purchasing power.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST:  PCR – MAKE BELIEVE AMERICA

More B.S. From The BLS Leads To A Blatant Attack On Gold & Silver

With the release of the latest BLSBS at 8:30am EST, the market interventionists were set up for a spectacular effort today. The S&P was first out of the gate, to the upside of course, and the precious metals were slammed. Ironically, the impulse triggered by the headline jobs report should have effected the stock market and the precious metals similarly.

How are 100’s of thousands of working age people leaving the labor force yet, somehow, the BLS can report hundreds of thousands of new jobs that were filled? Well, there is the “Birth/Death Model”. The Birth/Death Model, much like the Federal Reserve Note, is just made up out of thin air. A number is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and then entered into the BLS report. It has nothing to do with reality. But someone forgot to tell the BLS that construction spending in June was down nearly 10% year over year from last June because the BLS reports that new construction businesses added 11,000 new jobs to the economy – an economic and statistical extreme improbability.

If there were any markets that actually moved in accordance with fundamentals, natural price discovery or anything associated with reality the S&P and Dow Jones would be moving to the downside as well. Why? Because as Dave explains in the latest Shadow of Truth, if the [equities] markets were sensing the Fed was going to raise interest rates, and if the employment report were based in reality the Fed would be forced to raise interest rates, this would be negative for those indices. But, alas, everything is rigged, so it doesn’t matter. The “market saved us again…”

Non-Farm Payroll Propaganda – Aka Fake News

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

I dislike giving the employment report any acknowledgment because the report is constructed for the purposes of political expedience. But I can’t help posting a few comments because, once again, the non-farm payroll report for June showed significant growth in sectors of the economy for which real world business economic reports showed economic contraction. The headline number purports that the 222k new jobs were created in June. This wailed on the consensus estimate of 170k.

The Government attributes 16k in new jobs to the construction industry. How can this possibly have been the case when construction spending declined 4.4% on a quarterly basis for April and May? Moreover, housing starts have been declining for the past few months, including June. Unless there’s a new model for running a business, contracting economic activity is accompanied by payroll cost-cutting. The number is just not credible. Same with retail, for which the Government wants us to believe that 8100 jobs miraculously were created despite the fact that retail stores are being closed at one of the fast rates in history.

Then there’s the nefarious “birth/death” model, which guesstimates the number of jobs created by new companies started in June net of jobs lost from new businesses closed in June. I have news for the Bureau of Labor Statistics: new business formation, according to Gallop, is at a 40-yr low. Furthermore, potential business owners are less likely to risk borrowing money for a new business when the cost of borrowing is increasing. Maybe the BLS statisticians forgot about the Fed interest rate hikes and forgot to plug the higher cost of capital in to their new business formations blender. The B/D model attributes 102k new jobs from new businesses net of business deaths. To convolute their reporting Hmmm…23k of those came from construction…need I say more?

The above commentary is a preview of this week’s Short Seller’s Journal.

There IS No B.S. Like The BLS

Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has an Orwellian ring to it. I guess it should stand for “Bureau of Lying Statistics.” A quick glance at today’s non-farm payroll report suggests that the economy likely lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in May. The headline 138k number was well below Wall St’s consensus estimate and below even the lowest estimate (140k).

The highly deceitful “Birth/Death” model gave the BLS 238k “newly created” jobs from alleged new business formation in excess of jobs lost from failed businesses in May. This number is shown before it’s sent through the BLS’ “X‑13ARIMA‑SEATS software developed by the U.S. Census Bureau.” No one knows exactly how that statistical sausage grinder produces the alleged jobs added and lost by new business formation – not even the Census Bureau. Then that number is blended into the overall headline number.

In truth, it’s quite likely that the U.S. economy lost jobs in May. A report showing less working age people employed would be a better fit with the state of the economy as reflected by private-sector reports, such as retail sales and construction/capital formation spending. The BLS covers up this fact by “finding” a large number of “new” part-time jobs to offset the loss of 367,000 full-time jobs.

And for its coup de grace, the BLS reports that 608,000 people in the working age population decide to stop looking for a job, for whatever reason, and quit working. They are no longer considered to be part of the labor force. This concept makes absolutely no sense when privately-generated surveys show that less than 50% of all households do not have the ability to write a check for $500 in the event of an emergency. Perhaps 608,000 people just decided that they were tired of buying food and paying bills and quit working altogether.

Regardless of how you want to slice and dice the phony numbers, the “labor force participation rate” fell to 62.7% of the working age population. This means that 37.3% of the entire U.S. population between the ages of 15 and 64 decided that they couldn’t be bothered with working or looking for a job. That metric alone completely invalidates anything the BLS reports about the U.S. “employment situation.” Perhaps a better title for the monthly report would be “The Government’s Interpretation of U.S. Employment.”

Another Fraudulent Jobs Report

“Willing suspension of disbelief” is defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.  First off, I want to state upfront that there’s nothing enjoyable about the monthly non-farm payroll report unless you enjoy being subjected to brain damage.

Each month the Government asks us to suspend our critical faculties and accept the headline-reported number of new jobs created by the economy as well as the unemployment rate.   Once again the Government did not disappoint, as it headline-flashed the alleged creation of 211,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.4%.

Unfortunately, for the mindless masses who consume fast-food style news from mainstream news sources, once the headline numbers are absorbed and the “experts” reaffirm them with their idiotic psycho-babble, the numbers as reported miraculously become The Numbers.

To say that the latest non-farm payroll report stretches the ability to suspend one’s disbelief is an understatement.  The Government wants us to believe that 211,000 new jobs were created in April – “seasonally adjusted,” of course.    A cursory glance reveals that 162,000 working age civilians decided to just leave the labor force, which explains the alleged decline in the unemployment rate.  Either those folks who walked away were bequeathed with Social Security disability, took out a big student loan and enrolled for an online degree program at one of the many online universities or, most likely, their jobless benefits expired and they simply gave up looking for a job that pays more than minimum wage (Note:  the latter explanation is supported by the recent spike up in auto loan, credit card and mortgage delinquency rates).

As for the 211k alleged jobs created…The Government appears to have generated those jobs via its “create-a-job” program otherwise known as the “birth/death model.”  The birth/death model assumes that every month new businesses are created and terminated. New businesses hire employees and terminated businesses fire employees.  You can read more about it here:  birth/death modelling technique.   The b/d sausage grinder for April produced 255,000 new jobs, before seasonal adjustments (note:  most people assume the 255k jobs were the actual number of jobs added into the headline count, but the 255k is run through the “seasonally adjusted” total jobs blender and folded into the final number).

On the surface, the Government wants us suspend our disbelief and buy into the assumption that significantly more new businesses were started in April than were shuttered.  Unfortunately, according to the Census Bureau’s own numbers, new business creation is at a 40-year low.  In other words, the number of jobs that can be accounted for in the 211k headline number by the b/d model were never really created.  In fact, judging from the estimated 8,640 retail stores to be closed in 2017, added to the 10 retail chains that have already closed down this year, it’s more likely that more jobs were lost by deaths than were created by start-ups.    Yet, here’s the Government’s b/d estimate for retailing:

As you can see, the Government credits the retail industry with creating 5,000 new jobs in April from new business start-ups. But look at the leisure/hospitality category. It shows 84,000 jobs created by that sector. Again, suspension of disbelief is impossible when you consider that the restaurant industry alone is shedding jobs on a “net” basis, as private data sources show that restaurant sales have declined in 11 of the last 12 months (LINK). In fact, the restaurant industry is experiencing its worst period of sales since 2009.  I could go through each line item and annihilate the report, but for the sake of time  I would urge the Government to take a closer look at its assumptions underlying the b/d model job creation calculus.

John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics has been presenting the Conference Board Help Wanted Online Index (HWOL).  This  is the online transformation of a data series that measures help-wanted advertising going back to 1919.  This series has accurately correlated with every economic recessionary period in the post-WW1 era.  The graph presented by Williams in his latest newsletter shows that the HWOL index peaked in mid-2010 and has been declining ever since – both total HWOL ads and new HWOL ads.  Rate of year over year growth for the metric went negative in 2016, suggesting that the economy has not only not produced jobs since the beginning of 2016 but has in fact lost jobs.   The rate of decline in HWOL advertising  currently is contracting at a 20% year over year rate.  The last time it was contracting at this rate was in 2008.

Without question, it can be shown even with cursory analysis that the Government’s monthly non-farm payroll is fraudulent, serving no purpose than other than for political propaganda.  Looked  at another way, if the true unemployment rate was truly 4.4%, not only would the Fed be raising interest rates at a rapid pace, but it would also be shrinking its balance sheet in order to remove the threat of an accelerating rate of inflation stimulated by an acute labor shortage (4.4% is well below the economically defined long-run 5% natural rate of unemployment).

Gold/Silver Ready To Run Now That The Fed Can’t Hike Rates

Doc invited me on Silver Doctor’s Weekly Gold and Silver Market update this week. The Fed’s threat to raise rates in June were largely targeted at cooling off the big move in gold and silver, which were about to take off like a runaway freight train. We discuss:

  • Is the Correction Over? Bullion Buyers “Shellshocked” As Gold & Silver Prices Jump Higher
  • “There Was Never Any Intent to Raise Rates” – It Was All About Targeting Gold!
  • Unprecedented Development in Gold – RECORD Amount of Gold Standing for June COMEX Delivery
  • Friday Was A Shift in Sentiment: “I Think We’re Going to Go Alot Higher”
  • The Most Heavily Shorted Mining Stock in the World Jumps Over 15% – Hedgies & Algos Jump Back On the TrainDoc, Dubin, & PM Fund Manager Dave Kranzler Break Down Gold & Silver‘s Huge Moves Friday:

mining-stock-journal-header-border

The junior mining stocks are more undervalued right now in relation to the price of gold and silver than at any time in history. Some of the companies that I present in my Mining Stock Journal will turn into lifestyle-changing investments. Click on the image above or on this link to subscribe: Mining Stock Journal

I’m enjoying and am really pleased with the results so I wanted to say thanks. – Subscriber “Jason”

Non-Farm Payroll: Economy Is Collapsing

The Government’s “non-farm payroll” report – aka “the employment situation” – reported an alleged 160k jobs added to the economy in April.  I am loathe to even discuss this fairy-tale report out of disdain for ascribing any legitimacy to a complete work of fiction.  It is mind-blowing to me that economic “experts” like Mark Zandi jump on the financial market propaganda networks and attempt to conduct a serious discussion about the numbers (I remember when Zandi was a mediocre analyst for Moody’s – he was hack then and he’s a bigger hack now).

Having swept aside those reservations I want to point out that, of the 160k jobs Untitledallegedly added to the economy in April, the Government whipped up 233k jobs from its “birth/death model” statistical plug metric  (click image to enlarge).  Without this fictitious numerical addition to the overall report, the economy in April lost jobs (the 233k number is pre-seasonal adjustments so it’s not mathematically correct to subtract 233k from the 160k, but it is correct to infer that the pre-birth/death number was negative).

The birth/death model is the Government’s estimate of the number of new businesses that were created in April net of the number of businesses that closed.   There’s not really words available that can describe the absurdity of the B/D model.  I’ll let the reader scan through the numbers in the graphic above to decide whether or not – in the context of every other economic report released in April – if the economy produced enough new businesses to affect the amount of hiring reflected in the Government’s report.

Ironically, Goldman Sachs has raised its forecast for the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) on Thursday,  expecting the employment report to crush expectations with a number closer to 250,000.  This is despite the fact that Goldman itself has slashed its payroll this year, cutting its fixed income division employment by 10%.  It’s just amazing how fraudulent the entire U.S. system has become.  It would be interesting to see the motivation behind Goldman’s highly misleading research reports, specifically the bank’s jobs forecast and its interminable forecast of sub-$1000 gold.

Please recall that when gasoline prices were falling the story-line pitched by Wall Street was that it would create a big bounce in consumer spending. This big bounce never materialized per retail and restaurant sales reports over the last several months. But also notice that Wall Street and the financial media market promoters are dead silent on the effect that higher gasoline prices will have on the consumer.

The non-farm payroll report with the birth/death model job additions stripped away  – i.e. significant job losses in April – is likely the accurate reflection of the level of economic activity in this country.   This assessment is reinforced and confirmed by the number of recent bankruptcies in the retail and energy sectors.   The 16% plunge in rail traffic during April reported by the Association of American Railroads further confirms this assessment – LINK.  Rail carload traffic reflects the level of business activity at the manufacturing and wholesale distribution level of our economy.   If activity in that sector is collapsing, it means that retail demand in every sector of the economy is collapsing.  Housing is next…