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July jobs report

#1 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-August-03, 12:21

from Reuters:

Reuters: Labor market slowed sharply after strong gains in winter, spelling trouble for Obama...

from the AP:

AP: Stronger job creation could help Obama's re-election hopes...

this is so confusing
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-August-03, 12:45

View Postluke warm, on 2012-August-03, 12:21, said:

from Reuters:

Reuters: Labor market slowed sharply after strong gains in winter, spelling trouble for Obama...

from the AP:

AP: Stronger job creation could help Obama's re-election hopes...

this is so confusing


From the WSJ

http://blogs.wsj.com...t=Google+Reader

Quote

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 8.3% in July and a broader measure ticked up to 15%, even as the economy added 163,000 jobs. Why the increase?

The key reason is because the two numbers come from separate reports. The number of jobs added the 163,000 figure comes from a survey of business, while the unemployment rate comes from a survey of U.S. households. The two reports often move in tandem, but can move in opposite directions, especially in months such as July where there are big seasonal issues at play.

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#3 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-August-04, 23:22

The unemployment rate also is affected by the number of people in the job market. To be "unemployed", you have to be trying to get a job. So the unemployment rate can change even though not a single person has been hired or fired, as a result of students graduating college and entering the job market, or others giving up hope and dropping out.

#4 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-August-04, 23:46

to make it even more confusing Europe uses different metrics.


In other words we cannot measure and compare.


fwiw I never heard of U6 until recent so my guess is 99.999% of America has no idea what it is.


http://en.wikipedia....ki/Unemployment
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#5 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-August-04, 23:57

I only know about these quirks because practically every time a jobs report comes out, NPR programs like All Things Considered and Marketplace do reports on how there are all these different metrics that make things confusing.

#6 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-August-05, 06:23

Well the churn in the US job market is about 1.2 million a month, and the net jobs is a rounding error. The error on these rates are well over 100k, and could be as bad as 200k, depending who you beleive, so basically every month the jobs report is consistent with a strong recovery or a recession, which is why no one should pay any attention to it.

I much prefer the GDP numbers as a guide. Its true they are also subject to revision, but whenever you see GDP growth greater than population growth + inflation, you should look for falling unemployment (in a real sense).
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#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-August-05, 08:32

From the WSJ article cited by Richard:

Quote

A further worrying sign came in the count of persons counted as employed, which fell by 195,000 last month.


No doubt this statistic has its drawback, nothing is perfect, but this one is more easily understandable to me. If 195,000 fewer people have jobs than was the case a month ago (comparing July with June, I think it is) , this is presumably bad. One always has to be careful. For example, I retired in July (8 years ago, now that I think of it) and possibly July is a big month for retirement. Still, mostly I would expect that the number of people who want a job would decline little if at all from June to July, so if 195,000 fewer have jobs, that sounds bad.

Mike: I not only was unaware of U-6, I was unaware of U-1 through U-5. I knew there were various measures, but the Wik article is useful in sorting them out. Thanks.

I try to steer a middle course between dissing all theory on the one hand and, on the other hand, getting bogged down in concepts that I think I could understand with enough time and devotion but seem impenetrable on a casual basis. So I look to this minus 195,000 as a tool for evaluating how we are doing. Fewer people working means less gets done, fewer are self-supporting, more need help. Sounds bad. I keep in mind it is for one month, and I stay sort of calm, but it ain't good.
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#8 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-August-06, 14:48

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-05, 08:32, said:

I keep in mind it is for one month, and I stay sort of calm, but it ain't good.

right, but who is it "ain't good" for? going by the original headlines, it's good for obama in one and bad for him in the other... does it only depend on who's doing the reporting? it would seem so
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-August-06, 15:55

View Postluke warm, on 2012-August-06, 14:48, said:

right, but who is it "ain't good" for? going by the original headlines, it's good for obama in one and bad for him in the other... does it only depend on who's doing the reporting? it would seem so



Ain't good for whom? It ain't good for the 195,000 that form this statistic. That's easy.


How will it affect Obama's re-election? His re-election will not depend on whether the unemployment rate is 8.3 or 8.1 percent, and it is not (or so I trust) going to be 7 percent or 6 percent. If Obama wins in November, which I think possible although hardly clear, it seems to me the Republicans might want to re-assess their approach. The anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-gay wing of the GOP really scares the crap out of a lot of us. A credible candidate who tells them to buzz off might find a lot of votes coming his/her way.
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#10 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-August-06, 17:12

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-06, 15:55, said:

How will it affect Obama's re-election? His re-election will not depend on whether the unemployment rate is 8.3 or 8.1 percent, and it is not (or so I trust) going to be 7 percent or 6 percent. If Obama wins in November, which I think possible although hardly clear, it seems to me the Republicans might want to re-assess their approach. The anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-gay wing of the GOP really scares the crap out of a lot of us. A credible candidate who tells them to buzz off might find a lot of votes coming his/her way.


If the election were held today, Obama would win pretty handily...

On the Republican front, you need to recall that Romney was considered the moderate of the bunch.
I suspect that a Romney loss will cause the Republican's to double down on stupid...
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#11 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 05:33

With Michele Bachmann in the party, there is no room to the right of stupid.
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#12 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 06:58

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-06, 15:55, said:

The anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-gay wing of the GOP really scares the crap out of a lot of us. A credible candidate who tells them to buzz off might find a lot of votes coming his/her way.

Certainly some. But such a candidate would lose many votes too. There are a lot of those voters out there, that is why the party has gone that way to begin with.

I wish there was a party for citizens with conservative values, but who don't want to embrace ignorance and bigotry.
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#13 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 09:57

View Postbillw55, on 2012-August-07, 06:58, said:

Certainly some. But such a candidate would lose many votes too. There are a lot of those voters out there, that is why the party has gone that way to begin with.

I wish there was a party for citizens with conservative values, but who don't want to embrace ignorance and bigotry.


This is what frustrates me, as well. I have ben called both a raging liberal and a raging conservative by folks who are raging ideologues, depending upon the discussion. If you happen to be internally consistent, you seem to end up this way, IMO.
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#14 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 11:54

View Postkenrexford, on 2012-August-07, 09:57, said:

This is what frustrates me, as well. I have been called both a raging liberal and a raging conservative by folks who are raging ideologues, depending upon the discussion. If you happen to be internally consistent, you seem to end up this way, IMO.


It frustrates a lot of us. In 1952 I was a thirteen year old supporter of Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower won and four years later I felt he had been a pretty decent president. Not that I was all that much of a political junkie.

I am non-religious but I have religious friends, I am a Democrat (if forced to choose) but I have Republican friends, and worst of all I am a mathematician. So many years ago I saw Zorba the Greek and I recall the line "I no longer ask is he a Turk or is he a Greek. I ask is he a good man or is he not. And I swear to God that as I get older I don't always ask that anymore."
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#15 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 12:07

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-06, 15:55, said:

The anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-gay wing of the GOP really scares the crap out of a lot of us. A credible candidate who tells them to buzz off might find a lot of votes coming his/her way.


It is my opinion that the whole political process in america has contrived to produce ideologues, it just happens that the stupid ideologues on the right happen to be more wrong than the stupid ideologues on the left. :) A selection process where only supporters get to vote seems to be designed to produce politicians who are further from the center than is `normal' in european democracies.

Now, I am more familiar with the political scene in the UK, but here are some left wing ideals that I think are almost purely idealogical:

(1) That expansionary Fiscal Policy can cure a depression, without assistance from the central bank.
So you see this crop up in various guises. The truth is that expansionary fiscal policy is identical to expansionary monetary policy. If your central bank is unwilling to take the `risk' of inflationary policy through quantative easing, then it will also move to choke off the effects of a fiscal expansion. It is incredible to me the flak that Obama is getting regarding the economy, when the Federal reserve has abjectly failed in its mandate. The purpose of a dual mandate, is to allow inflation to overshoot at times of high unemployment by undertaking expansionary monetary policy. Instead the federal reserve has routinely undershot its inflation target. Since the financial crises, the price level is five percent below where it would be if the federal reserve had `merely' stuck to its two percent target and ignored the unemployment part of its mandate.

(2) Embryonic Stem Cell research.
Almost every advance that one hears about from stem cell research comes from adult stem cells or induced stem cells, where you take the stem cells from an adult. Nevertheless, almost all the (government) money goes into ESC research. This is almost certainly a political decision, about the fact that the logic of pro-life thought leads inevitably to the conclusion that ESC research is immoral. Its harder to argue something is immoral when people are visibly benefiting. If adult stem cells and induced stem cells are made to work first, them ESC research will be seen as an unnecessary ethical complication.

(3) The minimum wage
Empirical evidence on the minimum wage is mixed, but it is a favourite icon of left wing thought here, to the point where questioning whether it is a good idea is close to heresy.

To my mind these are all areas where the left wing establishment is allowing their ideology to interfere with what should be purely pragmatic decisions (for those who have no ethical concerns about ESC anyway), and to be honest, I have a lot of sympathy. Let me leave you with a little anecdote, I was watching on tv an interview with some left-wing pundit whose name I forget, on british t.v., and he was being interviewed on the new Study of Gay parenting, (see here for a Slate article summarising some points), and when asked about the implications for gay adoption he said "well, when it comes to a moral issue, I don't see that the scientists have much to say", and I thought, well, quite. :)
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#16 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 15:36

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-06, 15:55, said:

The anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-gay wing of the GOP really scares the crap out of a lot of us. A credible candidate who tells them to buzz off might find a lot of votes coming his/her way.

this is strictly a political question... what's your opinion on leaving those type choices to the states rather than making them a matter of federal policy? as much as possible, that is
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#17 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-August-07, 19:13

View Postluke warm, on 2012-August-07, 15:36, said:

this is strictly a political question... what's your opinion on leaving those type choices to the states rather than making them a matter of federal policy? as much as possible, that is



I'm not sure what you mean by "purely a political question", but if you mean whoever gets the votes will have their way, then sure, I suppose it is. Like anything else that goes to a vote.

I am not sure what I think about leaving it to the states. For example, I think gay marriage is now legal in Maryland, although subject to legal challenge. I have no idea if this means a married gay couple can file a joint federal tax return. I don't know if a Maryland marriage is recognized in Virginia. I am not sure what happened with the federal Defense of Marriage Act. This is all of direct personal importance to a close member of the family and I suppose I could ask her, but I haven't.

Once people were Athenians or Spartans. The world changes and we no longer (most of us) have allegiance to cities (except for sports teams, and that attitude just passes me by). I mentioned on another thread that when I joined the faculty at the University of Maryland I signed a loyalty oath, much of which involved a commitment to defend Maryland if it is attacked by surrounding states. Well, the War Between the States is a fact of history, but this seems archaic.Again, the world changes, and this loyalty oath is gone and forgotten except as an amusement. I see us as one nation, not a loosely knit collection of fifty states each going its own way. Yes, I liked growing up in Minnesota but to tell the truth I find Garrison Keeler sort of boring.
Whatever Madison and all may have intended, it seems to me that Lincoln sort of settled this matter.
Still, I like variety. I think it is good for us. So I have mixed feelings about leaving it to the states.
Ken
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#18 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-August-08, 04:00

View Postkenberg, on 2012-August-07, 19:13, said:

I'm not sure what you mean by "purely a political question", but if you mean whoever gets the votes will have their way, then sure, I suppose it is. Like anything else that goes to a vote.

i was just trying to differentiate between a political and personal view
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-August-08, 04:46

View Postphil_20686, on 2012-August-07, 12:07, said:

It is my opinion that the whole political process in america has contrived to produce ideologues, it just happens that the stupid ideologues on the right happen to be more wrong than the stupid ideologues on the left. :) A selection process where only supporters get to vote seems to be designed to produce politicians who are further from the center than is `normal' in european democracies.

Now, I am more familiar with the political scene in the UK, but here are some left wing ideals that I think are almost purely idealogical:

(1) That expansionary Fiscal Policy can cure a depression, without assistance from the central bank.
So you see this crop up in various guises. The truth is that expansionary fiscal policy is identical to expansionary monetary policy. If your central bank is unwilling to take the `risk' of inflationary policy through quantative easing, then it will also move to choke off the effects of a fiscal expansion. It is incredible to me the flak that Obama is getting regarding the economy, when the Federal reserve has abjectly failed in its mandate. The purpose of a dual mandate, is to allow inflation to overshoot at times of high unemployment by undertaking expansionary monetary policy. Instead the federal reserve has routinely undershot its inflation target. Since the financial crises, the price level is five percent below where it would be if the federal reserve had `merely' stuck to its two percent target and ignored the unemployment part of its mandate.

(2) Embryonic Stem Cell research.
Almost every advance that one hears about from stem cell research comes from adult stem cells or induced stem cells, where you take the stem cells from an adult. Nevertheless, almost all the (government) money goes into ESC research. This is almost certainly a political decision, about the fact that the logic of pro-life thought leads inevitably to the conclusion that ESC research is immoral. Its harder to argue something is immoral when people are visibly benefiting. If adult stem cells and induced stem cells are made to work first, them ESC research will be seen as an unnecessary ethical complication.

(3) The minimum wage
Empirical evidence on the minimum wage is mixed, but it is a favourite icon of left wing thought here, to the point where questioning whether it is a good idea is close to heresy.

To my mind these are all areas where the left wing establishment is allowing their ideology to interfere with what should be purely pragmatic decisions (for those who have no ethical concerns about ESC anyway), and to be honest, I have a lot of sympathy. Let me leave you with a little anecdote, I was watching on tv an interview with some left-wing pundit whose name I forget, on british t.v., and he was being interviewed on the new Study of Gay parenting, (see here for a Slate article summarising some points), and when asked about the implications for gay adoption he said "well, when it comes to a moral issue, I don't see that the scientists have much to say", and I thought, well, quite. :)


4: More people in higher education is a good thing, regardless of whether this ends up meaning you need a degree to clean toilets ...

On 3:

Timeline day 0 - Labour put up minimum wage
3 days later - My department head is moved to another secret project
9 months later - My job is being done in India
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#20 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-August-08, 05:55

The data indicate that minimum wage increases are followed by boosts to GDP. Whether this evidence is correlated versus causitive I cannot say, but it makes sense that when 72% of GDP is based on consumption to increase the amount of capital available to those who consume 100% of revenue would be stimulative to the economy, don't you think?
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