Saturday, December 10, 2016

Russian Oil, Russian Hacking, and Donald Trump

Let's put this together and make sure everybody knows and understands this:

The head of Exxon-Mobil, Tillerson, the man that Trump has reportedly pegged to be Secretary of State, was very much involved with and in favor of an Exxon-Russia-oil (Roseneft) deal. The Obama administration had nixed this deal due to Russia's invasion of the Crimea. The US under Obama, Kerry, and Clinton has taken a somewhat hard line by using sanctions against Russia and its expansionist desires. Now Putin will manage to fast-track that oil deal after all (and probably get rid of the sanctions) by backing Trump. Question: Is there a smoking gun? Is there any evidence of back door dealings between Trump people and the Russians either about the hacking or about this deal and the Exxon guy? We all heard Trump calling on hackers to look into Hillary Clinton, and we know something about Paul Manafort, but that's not the same as a smoking gun. If there was such a smoking gun, would the Repubs even investigate it?



More on all of this later, including relevant links...

Monday, December 5, 2016

How Many jobs has Obama Created or Lost? (November 2016 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of November 2016? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?
  • Obama's final jobs numbers HERE.
  • Trump's million jobs:  Good or bad? HERE
  • Latest report for July 2017 HERE

How many new jobs in the last 8 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?
  • SEE BELOW!
Okay, President-Elect Trump, President Obama is handing off to you the strongest economy in terms of job-growth since the Clinton years. We have really just started a roll: * 

  • 1.  Record numbers of job openings.
  • 2.  A record in consecutive months of increase in the number of jobs (now 74 months).  
  • 3. Lowest number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits since 1971.  
  • 4.    A reduction in income inequality starting in 2014.
  • 5.  An increase in inflation-adjusted weekly and hourly wages for "regular" workers.  
  • 6.  A record-increase in inflation-adjusted household income.  
  • 7.  An INCREASE in manufacturing jobs after a 27% DECREASE in manufacturing jobs under Bush II.
      

    Don't mess this up, President-elect Trump!  WE ARE WATCHING YOU!  

    *For those who don't believe these claims, I will post links and sources for all of these in the next few days.  

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July 2017 numbers were released Friday morning, August 4th.  JULY reports and info HERE.
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

What was the unemployment rate when Obama took office and Bush left office? (Updated for November 2016)

What was the unemployment rate when Bush left office and Obama was inaugurated?  7.8% 


What was unemployment when Obama took office?  How many people were unemployed? 
 Read below

What was the unemployment rate after Obama's first full month in office (February 2009)?  8.3%

What was the unemployment rate at peak?  10.0%

What is today's (November 2016's) unemployment rate?   
4.6%:  The lowest unemployment rate since
Summer 2007. 
Yes, we will keep track of the unemployment rate when Trump takes office in January 2017.  The first month he will be "responsible" for the unemployment rate will be February 2017.  He will be inheriting one of the most robust economies of any recent incoming President.

All Latest Jobs and Unemployment Reports HERE

How many people were looking for work when Obama was inaugurated; how many were working? And how many people are looking for work and how many are employed now?


  • Read below the graph.

  • The following chart shows the unemployment rate in three month intervals plus month-by-month for the latest months:

     

Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The November 2016 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning, December 2.  It showed steady though unspectacular jobs and employment growth, with a record-breaking 4.7 million EMPLOYED people leaving the work force (probably due mostly to retirement).  The unemployment rate dropped 0.3% as 300,000 MORE unemployed people FOUND work and started working than employed people who LOST jobs and started looking for work. 


November 2016 Highlights:
 

  • The economy added 178,000 jobs, an average number of new jobs, and the unemployment rate fell substantially by 0.3% to 4.6%.
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.  Since the beginning of the year, job gains have averaged 180,000 per month.
  • The number of employed people went up by 160,000The number of unemployed people went down by 387,000 as 226,000 people left the labor force, meaning that they stopped working or stopped looking for work.  That is a NET number.
  • 9,000 MORE people are working full-time and 118,000 MORE  people are working part-time in November.
  • One of the biggest jumps in employment over the past year is in the area of people working part-time BY CHOICE.  
  • There are about 929,000 MORE people working part-time VOLUNTARILY than a year ago and about 416,000 FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY than a year ago.
  • Altogether, there are 2.6 million MORE people working than a year ago, with 2.1 million MORE people working full-time and about 513,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.  As discussed above, however, the jump in part-time employment is due mostly to people working part-time by choice, as the number of people working part-time involuntarily has fallen to pre-recession levels.
  • There were 156,000 MORE private sector jobs, and 22,000 MORE government jobs in November.  
  • The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) declined to 9.3% this month.  (It has averaged 9.7% during the year of 2016.)  This is down 9.9% from a year ago.
  • Government jobs include jobs at the federal, state, and local levels, including public school teachers.  It does not include military jobs, though it does include civilian Defense workers who are employed directly by the government.  Local government (but not education) accounted for 14,000 of the 22,000 increase in government jobs.
  • Employment in construction was up in November but manufacturing was down slightly.  Employment in professional and business services, accounting and bookkeeping services, administrative support services, and health care employment all increased significantly during the month of November.
  • Year-to-date in 2016, 1,653,000 people (net) have entered the labor force with 1,982,000 more people employed, and 1,599,000 MORE people employed full-time.  That means that people are entering the labor market AND finding full-time jobs. 
  • The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.4% and 63%.  It was 62.66% in November.
  • Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.

From the BLS report: 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +191,000 to +208,000, and the change for October was revised down from +161,000 to +142,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month. 
(For the record, 8 years ago, in November 2008, we lost 769,000 jobs as the country continued its slide into the worst recession in 80 years.)


November 2016 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for November" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.)

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks.  Please check back!

Expectations and the ADP Report:


The pundits were expecting job growth in the vicinity of 169,000 new private jobs and total job growth in the vicinity of 180,000.  The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, November 30th, showed an increase of 216,000 private sector jobs.  Over time, the numbers in the ADP report tend to follow those in the BLS government report very closely.  In the ADP report, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said:

Businesses hired aggressively in November and there is little evidence that the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election dampened hiring. In addition, because of the tightening labor market, retailers may be accelerating seasonal hiring to secure an adequate workforce to meet holiday demand, although total expected seasonal hiring may be no higher than last year’s.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Trump Lies and Bigly Lies About Nobody Working

File under #TrumpLies: Lies, lies, more lies, bigger lies, bigly lies.


Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for President, claimed in his Gettysburg rant in late October 2016 that, in one out of five families, no one is working! I guess this was supposed to alarm his audience of retired, non-working people. They believe (because Donald keeps telling them) that the whole country is going to hell in a handbasket as "no one is working".



Now, since I have not been buffaloed by Trump, I immediately thought "retired people" when I heard that claim about all of the families which do not include someone who is working. I decided to investigate. His claim apparently was based on the Employment Characteristics of Families Report that the Bureau of Labor Statistics put out back in April. The BLS releases this report every year in the spring. It provides many statistics about the American family such as the number and percentage of families with children, how many families have someone unemployed, how many family have nobody working, all broken down by race and general age group.


Well, Donald was right.. and also wrong. The report does say that 19.7% of American families, or about 16 million families out of 81 million families had nobody working during the year 2015. Yes, Trump is right! One of out FIVE families have no one working! The sky is definitely falling and it is quite a disaster as Trump has been telling us for about 18 months now. (I'm just being sarcastic. But Donald has convinced millions of people that everything is a disaster.) Except that it's not really a disaster that 20% of American families don't have a worker. And the sky is not falling, no matter what Trump tells his easily-brainwashed followers. ( I hope nobody reading this falls into the category of easily-brainwashed Trump follower.) Who is in a "family"? Let's start with the basics. Here's the definition of "family" for the purposes of this Bureau of Labor Statistics report:

Family. A family is a group of two or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. The count of families is for "primary" families only, that is, the householder and all other persons related to and residing with the householder. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses. Families include those without children as well as those with children under 18.

Notice that last line: Families include families without children as well as those with children. So here's the bigly point: If you are a retired married couple whose kids have moved out of the house, you are considered a "family". You do have to be a couple to be considered a family, so if you are a retired person living by yourself whose kids have moved out (or a retired person who never had any kids and you live by yourself), you don't count as a family. Even if you have a cat or two or a dog or two. Baby Boomers Now unless you have spent the last years hiding in the cellar under a trap door somewhere, you should realize that we have a really YUGE population of Baby Boomers in this country, and they are retired or retiring in big numbers. Let me repeat that: They are RETIRED. That's why you see so many older people at Trump rallies.. They don't have to work anymore. (Yes, to be fair, many of the people at Hillary Clinton rallies are probably also retired and don't have to work.) So... could those 16 million "families" in which no one is working actually ALL be retired couples? I tried to find a solid number of retired couples in this country. So far I cannot find such a specific number, but I will keep looking. However, it is easy to find the number of people collecting Social Security. There are about 41 million retired workers collecting Social Security. That doesn't include people who are disabled. That doesn't include spouses collecting on their retired spouses' record.  Now not all of those 41 million people are in a "family".. but it should be pretty clear that most of those 16 million families without anyone working are retired couples. And the recently-released Census report on income and poverty also tells us that there are about 30 million households (not the same as a family; this number includes people living alone) that are headed by someone age 65 or older. Again, we don't exactly know how many retired couples with no children there are among that 30 million households, but 16 million is not unreasonable. Trump: It's all a DISASTER!
So Trump is creating alarm and misery over the fact that people can still retire in this country. Which should be a good thing. Except in Trumpland.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Get Rid of Medicare: Zachary Won't Need It!


Ah, Zachary, the folly of youth!  Zachary explains why he doesn't need Social Security or Medicare:
"Getting rid of it seems like a perfect fix to me. I can take care of myself better than the government can, clearly. I mean look, all this money I am paying into Social Security and Medicare ... I would absolutely get MUCH more if I invested it myself. 
Some people are stupid, I understand that. If you don't trust yourself to prepare for your own future then by all means, give your money to the government and hope that they will take care of you.
But I'm not stupid, and I should have the CHOICE of investing my own money in my own future... it is called liberty! 

I took him on.  I started:  
Zachary, it is clear that you are young and don't understand what may yet befall you.

The rest of my reply is here:  Let's Get Rid of Medicare: Zachary Won't Need It!
 

I wrote the original of the article Let's Get Rid of Medicare; Zachary Won't Need It! back in 2012 during the Presidential primaries.  It was my response to people debating the future of our social safety net.  Perhaps it could be a response today to people who think that Gary Johnson and the Libertarians might have the answers they want.  

Let's be clear:  The Republicans STILL Want to Dismantle Medicare, Privatize Social Security, etc.

So I had to write a bit about why we still need the social safety net; why we can't elect Trump and other Republicans to shut these programs down.  (Updated September 26, 2016):
Cold Old People Found Here



The social safety net will certainly be at risk if Trump is elected and Republicans hold onto the Senate and the House.  The misery that this would bring to millions of people is hard to even fathom.. What is harder to fathom right now is that this election is so close. 

So, before you vote, think..

Saturday, September 24, 2016

What was the unemployment rate when Obama took office and Bush left office? (Updated for August 2016)


What was the unemployment rate when Bush left office and Obama was inaugurated?  7.8%

Note:  This report was not updated for September due to personal reasons.  But the October updates will be released starting this weekend, November 4. 

What was unemployment when Obama took office?  How many people were unemployed?  Read below


What was the unemployment rate after Obama's first full month in office (February 2009)?  8.3%

What was the unemployment rate at peak?  10.0%

What is today's (August 2016's) unemployment rate?   4.9%  

All Latest Jobs and Unemployment Reports HERE

How many people were looking for work when Obama was inaugurated; how many were working?  And how many people are looking for work and how many are employed now?


  • Read below the graph.

  • The following chart shows the unemployment rate in three month intervals plus month-by-month for the latest months:

     

No, Trump, Black People Are Not Worse Off Than Ever, Ever, Ever!

At least not when it comes to unemployment:


Donald Trump, the republican candidate for President, claims that the situation of African-Americans in this country is the "worst ever"-- even worse than when most African-Americans were enslaved?  But let's just stick to unemployment.
African-American woman waiting at a job fair in 2014.

















.....
African Americans are always hit harder by economic downturns; it always takes longer for the unemployment rate of black people to come back down, and the "normal" unemployment rate of African-Americans has always been much higher than that of whites. But.. the unemployment rate among black people is NOT now the "worst ever", no matter what that Trump says.
During the Republican Reagan Recession of 1983, black unemployment hit 21.2%THAT was the "worst ever" during the years for which we have data on unemployment by race.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Initial Unemployment Claims Are Low; Very, Very Low.


First time claims for unemployment benefits continue to be the lowest they have been in decades,as reported by the Department of Labor this morning, Thursday, September 22, 2016:




In the week ending September 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 252,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 260,000. The 4-week moving average was 258,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 260,750. There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. 
This marks 81 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. 
Please click for a better view of this graph.





A
The Economic Recovery Continues

The percentage of insured workers (meaning workers whose wages are subject to unemployment compensation) who are actually collecting unemployment after a layoff has also fallen to its lowest level since the Clinton years.  

The number of initial claims first crossed the 300,000 threshold back in April 1970, back when the number of jobs was less than half of what it is today.  We have not had a streak of 81 weeks during which the number of initial claims was below 300,000 since that time.. despite the fact that we have doubled the number of jobs during those 46 years!

25% fewer people collecting benefits than 3 years ago, but fewer people exhausting all of their state benefits.

State by state, there are 13 states in which the number of people filing for continuing benefits is higher than a year ago. However, over a period of 3 years, the total number of people collecting benefits is down 25% from mid-September 2013.  The percent of people collecting benefits who exhaust their state benefits, meaning they collect all available weeks of unemployment insurance, is now only 37.3%. meaning that about 63% of unemployment recipients go back to work before they exhaust their benefits.  That number peaked at 56% in early 2010 (meaning that less than half of people collecting benefits found work before they collected their available state benefits) and has been steadily declining.

This means that, in late 2009 into early 2010, about 600,000 to 800,000 people a month were exhausting their state benefits without finding work.  (There were federal extension programs available back then.)  Now, in mid 2016, about 200,000 people a month are exhausting their state benefits without finding a job.  These are about the same numbers as in late 2006 into early 2007, just before the housing bubble burst.  To find lower numbers, we have to go back into the late Clinton years, from 1998 until early 2001.     

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (August 2016 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of August 2016? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?
Note:  This report was not updated for September due to personal reasons.  But the October updates will be released starting this weekend, November 4. 


How many new jobs in the last 7 1/2 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

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August 2016 numbers were released Friday morning, September 2nd.  AUGUST reports and info HERE.
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Saturday, September 3, 2016

August 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The August 2016 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning, September 2.  It showed steady though unspectacular jobs and employment growth.

November 2016 Jobs Reports HERE

This report is outdated.  Current numbers (for November 2016) can be found at the link above.

August 2016 Highlights:   





  • The economy added 
    151,000 jobs, an average number of new jobs, and the unemployment rate was stable at 
    4.9%.
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month.  Since the beginning of the year, job gains have averaged 182,000 per month.
  • The number of employed people went up by 97,000. The number of unemployed people went up by 79,000 as 176,000 people joined the labor force, meaning that they started working or started looking for work. That is a NET number.
  • 409,000 MORE people are working full-time and 388,000 FEWER  people are working part-time in August.
  • There are 2.6 million MORE people working than a year ago, with 2.3 million MORE people working full-time and about 250,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.  There are about 700,000 MORE people working part-time VOLUNTARILY than a year ago and about 430,000 FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY than a year ago.
  • There were 126,000 MORE private sector jobs, and 25,000 MORE government jobs in August.  
  • The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) has been stable at 9.7% this month and it has averaged 9.7% during the year of 2016.  This is down0.6% from a year ago.
  • Government jobs include jobs at the federal, state, and local levels, including public school teachers.  It does not include military jobs, though it does include civilian Defense workers who are employed directly by the government.  Local government accounted for 24,000 of the 25,000 increase in government jobs.
  • Employment in mining, construction, and durable goods manufacturing was down slightly in August, with employment in service sectors, including retail trade, transportation, financial activities, professional services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality all showing moderate increases.
  • Year-to-date in 2016, 1,630,000 people (net) have entered the labor force with 1,685,000 more people employed, and 1,698,000 MORE people employed full-time.  That means that people are entering the labor market AND finding full-time jobs. 
  • The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.42% and 63.02%.  It was 62.82%in August.
  • Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.

From the BLS report: 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down from +292,000 to +271,000, and the change for July was revised up from +255,000 to +275,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 1,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month. 
(For the record, 8 years ago, in August 2008, we lost 266,000 jobs as the country continued its slide into the worst recession in 80 years.)


August 2016 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for August" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.)

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks.  Please check back!

Expectations and the ADP Report:


The pundits were expecting job growth in the vicinity of 180,000 new jobs.  The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, August 31st, showed an increase of 177,000 private sector jobs.  Over time, the numbers in the ADP report tend to follow those in the BLS government report very closely.  In the ADP report, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said:  
The American job machine continues to hum along. Job creation remains strong, with most industries and companies of all sizes adding solidly to their payrolls. The U.S. economy will soon be at full employment.

Friday, August 5, 2016

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (July 2016 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of July 2016? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?


How many new jobs in the last 7 1/2 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

*******************************************************************

July 2016 numbers were released Friday morning, August 5th.  JULY reports and info HERE.
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What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office?

The Unemployment Rate When Obama took office as of August 2016:

Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office (August 2016 update)

Meanwhile, July 2016 jobs overview HERE.

July 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The July 2016 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning, August 5.  A good, solid jobs report!    


The economy added 255,000 jobs, a large, strong number, which beat estimates of 170,000 to 180,000, and the unemployment rate was stable at 4.9%.

The number of unemployed people went down by 13,000 and 407,000 people joined the labor force.  Altogether, 420,000 more people started working in July, with 306,000 more people working full-time and 150,000 more people working part-time.

There are
217,000 more private sector jobs, and 38,000 more government jobs, the largest increase in the number of government jobs in over a year.

From the BLS report: 



Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Employment in mining continued to trend down...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +11,000 to +24,000, and the change for June was revised from +287,000 to +292,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 18,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 190,000 per month. 

(For the record, 8 years ago, in July 2008, we lost 209,000 jobs as the country continued its slide into the worst recession in 80 years.)


More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks.  Please check back!