Blue World Jobs Report Analysis July 7, 2018

Blue World Employment Situation Report Analysis

Release Date: Usually on the first Friday of the month

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Market Impact: Usually Very High

Management Value: Critical

Date: July 6, 2018

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It’s another massive report that gets turbo-charged with 37k in upward revisions to the last two months! Let’s get straight to the numbers.

We see 213k on the marquee and 202k came from the Private Sector, which keeps that average at 211k with half of 2018 in the books. The Participation Rate double-ticked to 62.9, the Total Employed jumped another 100k, the Labor Force ballooned by 601k, and the Diffusion Indexes for both Manufacturing and the Private Sector astonishingly remain in the mid-60’s!

If there is any downside at all it’s that wage inflation remains elusive, but that is also a side effect of a point about workers coming back to the work force that we’ll detail below.

The labor market is three dimensional and cannot be adequately analyzed by a two-dimensional headline of two or three stats. For example, there will be those that point to the Unemployment Rate ticking up to 4% with the number of Unemployed growing by half a million. They are either disingenuous or simply misinformed.

It is a crucial yet little understood method of the unemployment report that not all of those without jobs are counted as “unemployed.” In order to be unemployed for reporting purposes one must also be a member of the Labor Force. One is only a member of the Labor Force IF they have actively looked for employment recently. In other words, we are only “unemployed” if we want work, are actively looking for work, and cannot find work. Table A-15 of the release, Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization, tracks those who are considered Not in the Labor Force, marginally attached and discouraged from even seeking a job. When we hear talk of the “true” unemployed rate, that’s what they mean. This is why Blue World puts such heavy emphasis on the dynamic relationship of changes between the size of the Labor Force, those Not in the Labor Force, Total Employed, Total Unemployed, and the Participation Rate. Today is a fine example. As identified above, the number of “Unemployed” swelled by 500k. However, nearly that exact number came off the Not in Labor Force total. These are potential workers who have left the sidelines, looked for work and simply not found it yet! This is a VERY GOOD sign, not a negative as some have portrayed it already this morning.

Blue World Economic Index® won’t post a report this month as we are in the middle of doing quarterly trend analysis and there are a great many changes. We can tell you the index rose at the highest rate since we began publishing and smashed the previous record high water mark. We’ll post the full update at the end of July and we’ll have plenty to say about tariff and trade wars then.

We hope the 4th was safe and wonderful. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned…

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  The official release site should be cross referenced. The analysis represents the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, LTD. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on its analysis.

 

©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Friday, July 06, 2018

Blue World Jobs Report Analysis – June 1, 2018

Blue World Employment Situation Report Analysis

Release Date: Usually on the first Friday of the month

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Market Impact: Usually Very High

Management Value: Critical

Date: June 1, 2018

Brain Surgery is not Rocket Science to a Brain Surgeon©

 

The report looks great at the headline and most of the detail backs it up. There are a couple of rough spots in the usual places so let’s take a look.

The headline posted 223k net jobs added and the private sector accounted for 218k of those which keeps the 2018 average above 200 and revisions to March and April netted us 15k. The Total Employed rose and the Total Unemployed fell while the Labor Force got a little bigger.

The Participation Rate and Not in Labor Force stats remain stubborn with the former falling a tick and the latter rising for a third straight month and flirting with 96M. The baby boomers retiring is certainly a factor but that bleeding has got to be slowed.

Trade and Transport, Retail, Services, Manufacturing and Construction were all big gainers and wages showed some signs of life with Y/Y up 2.7% for hourly employees and a full 3% for salaried workers. The work week was 34.5 hours long for May which is exactly the average for 2018 to date vs. 34.4 hours for 2016 and 2017.

A stat that is not highlighted too much outside of Blue World’s report is actually the big indicator today. The Diffusion Indexes have remained above 60 for three months in a row. That hasn’t happened in a while and is a great indicator of underlying strength in the labor markets.

Because they are both due today, we’ll combine jobs analysis with a summary of May’s Blue World Economic Index® which actually hit .2 intra-month for the first time since we’ve been publishing it, but just couldn’t hold that level as the Real Estate major category took a beating in the final week. Regardless, the index did advanced to .18, matching the recovery record high set in January of this year.

Matt will be on AM780 and 105.9FM in Chicago at 12:09 today to break down the jobs report live and the Podcast can be found later this evening.

Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned…

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  The official release site should be cross referenced. The analysis represents the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, LTD. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on its analysis.

 ©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Friday, June 01, 2018

Blue World Jobs Report Analysis for May 4, 2018

Blue World Employment Situation Report Analysis

Release Date: Usually on the first Friday of the month

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Market Impact: Usually Very High

Management Value: Critical

Date: May 4, 2016

Brain Surgery is not Rocket Science to a Brain Surgeon©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one is decidedly mixed. There is some good and some bad in the places we’ve come to expect.

The headline came in at 164k, but the Private Sector actually added 168k as Government payrolls shed 4k. 168k is not stellar but well within most consensus ranges and keeps the 2018 average at 200k, but that is still on the strength of the incredible February numbers. If we adjust Feb to the average of the other three months the average drops to 160k, but the upward revision of 30k to the last two months helps the outlook. The Labor Force lost 236k, but the Number of Unemployed persons fell by the same amount.

Still disappointing, in our view, the Participation Rate fell to 62.8. There are those “experts” interpreting that as evidence of tight labor conditions when coupled with the diminishing Labor Force. While we get it, we have to take the more cautious approach of noting that the rise in the Not in Labor Force total exceeds the drop in Labor Force size, and there is still no meaningful wage pressure, so we still lean negative on the notion that employment is so great that employers can’t find workers. That’s a tough sell. As we’ve pointed out in the past, there is no such thing as a “jobless recovery.” Add to that, “there is no such thing as full employment without wage inflation.” If employers are adding workers and not having to pay more for them then supply is likely still high. In the Blue World Economic Index® report, posted Monday, we expressed our view that today’s jobs report would be the dove/hawk tie-breaker for the next Fed meeting as the quarterly Employment Cost Index report signaled wage inflation, but the monthly Personal Income and Outlays report did not. Today’s report definitely corroborates Personal Income and Outlays, so let’s hope the hawks remain perched.

The Diffusion Indexes are still comfortably above 50 but posted their second monthly decline in a row and have fallen below their year-ago marks. Manufacturing and Construction had good showings again with regard to payrolls and wages, with Construction jumping 3.7% and 4.2% for Hourly and Weekly pay year over year.

If we were pressed we’d say this report is mixed with a positive lean, but you know we don’t care about any single report, anyway. We care about the trends. In a post from October of 2012 entitled “A Flute with no Holes is not a Flute and a Recovery Without Jobs is not a Recovery”, we compared labor market charts from past recession/recoveries going back to the 70’s to show how the trends in a true recovery look. If we look at today’s chart we can see there is, in fact, finally a robust recovery under way.

Have a wonderful May and we look forward to posting the next Blue World Economic Index® report at the end of the month.

Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned…

Release Site: www.bls.gov

 

Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  The official release site should be cross referenced. The analysis represents the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, LTD. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on its analysis.

 

©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Friday, May 04, 2018

Blue World Economic Index® April 30, 2018

Brief Explanation

Blue World Economic Index®

Scale: -2 to +2

Release Date:  Usually the Last or First Business Day of Each Month

Release Site: www.blueworldassetmanagers.com

Management Value: Critical

Date: April 30, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

Wait-and-see is the frustratingly common theme for the economy. The BWEI® for April’s report held strong and unchanged, but the ground beneath our feet still feels unsteady as lawyer’s files get seized, tariffs get implemented, porn stars get credibility, and investigators seek urine-soaked beds in Russian hotels… WOW!

There were a lot of conflicting signals this month, most notably from GDP, durables, and wages. The Employment Cost Index, a quarterly report, flagged wage pressure but that was not corroborated in the Personal Income and Outlays report, which issues monthly. The BLS jobs report Friday will probably break the tie and either feed the hawks or stroke the doves at next week’s FOMC meeting, as the most watched inflation measure tickles the target of 2%.  Spending strength in the current GDP report was offset by a down revision to February, and weakness was in key areas like computers and machinery. The only substantial agreement this month was with regard to strength in spending on services.

Strength is still very evident in many of the off-the-beaten-path reports like the Cass Freight Index which has shown steady and impressive results.

The Numbers

The index held at .17 where, except for Employment which fell back .11, all gains and losses were fractional. Employment and Inflation are the only two of the eight major categories in the red, and Consumer metrics are still far and away the leaders at a Category Composite of .51. For comparison, second place is Manufacturing at .44.

The Blue World Jobs Report Analysis will be out Friday morning. See you there! Have a great May. Hopefully it will only snow once in Chicago this month..!

 

 

Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  The official release sites should be cross referenced.  The index assignments represent the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, Ltd. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on the index.

©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Monday, April 30, 2018

 

 

 

Blue World Jobs Report Analysis 04-06-2018

Blue World Employment Situation Report Analysis

Release Date: Usually on the first Friday of the month

Release Site: www.bls.gov

Market Impact: Usually Very High

Management Value: Critical

Date: Friday, April 06, 2018 

Brain Surgery is not Rocket Science to a Brain Surgeon©

Cooling was expected but this was kinda weird. Once we look at all the net-nets it was a mixed report with an unmistakable positive lean even though the headline shows a substantial miss. Getting deep in the weeds and doing a lot more math than usual was key to understanding what this one really said. There are, of course, already thousands of “expert” “analyses” out there by both sides of the political aisle and financial industry with their own slants, so as always, read those for amusement and stay here for the actionable intelligence needed for strategic management decision making!

At the headline we see 103k whereas most consensus estimates called for 175k to 200k. The good news is that of the 103k, 102k were Private Sector adds which also picked up a positive revision from last month pushing the YTD 2018 average over 200k. Most of the positive developments from our go-to stats in last month’s monster report held up and wages hinted at some pressure. The work week length was steady and Manufacturing was a big winner again. The Diffusion Indexes returned from outer space but remained comfortably (and more sustainably) above 60. The table above shows annual averages back to 2014 for some of those key stats and you can see which are stubborn and which are making progress.

Concerns? A few. Retail got beaten up and that is consistent with yesterday’s Challenger layoffs report. Participation Rate and Not in Labor Force numbers continue to disappoint and there were too many Part-Time jobs but that tends to be volatile. We don’t think that this will force the hawks from their perch at the Fed so hopefully they’ll leave rates alone a while longer but they seem to look for any excuse these days.

Overall it was a good March for the economy. The Blue World Economic Index® made a nice move led by Employment and Manufacturing. Services looked good with rare and welcome tri-confirmation of strength despite slight pullbacks in ISM and PMI’s non-manufacturing reports.

From our consulting point of view the light is either Red or Yellow. We’ve never seen a pure Green light but we have perceived some blue tint coming in of late so there may be some Green out there…but we’ll never admit it!

Have a great April and we’ll see you back here in May.

Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned…

Release Site: www.bls.gov

 

Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of data transcription but accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  The official release site should be cross referenced. The analysis represents the opinion of Blue World Asset Managers, LTD. who does not warrant or guarantee predictions based on its analysis.

 

©Blue World Asset Managers, LTD Friday, April 06, 2018