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Old 10-06-2012, 02:55 AM   #61
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC
I think there is something going with the economy that is more positive than recent history.

Car Sales are at a 4 year high. Highest rate of car sales since Feb 2008.

Housing sales in July were the highest in 2 years.

The Dow Jones just hit a 5 year high.

The Nasdaq hit a 12 year high last month.


There seems to be movement going on.
Horrible news for far right wing nuts, great news for the rest of us
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:03 AM   #62
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Media Matters has a whole list of folks who questioned these numbers (as well as all the financial reporters who called this nonsense.
One thing that surprised me, but probably shouldn't is that Joe Scarborough's cast of characters didn't know that the unemployment numbers are determined by two separate surveys, the payroll survey and household survey. The unemployment rate is determined by the household survey. The language that BLS used was
Quote:
The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm
payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today.
Scarborough was looking at payroll and kept saying the numbers didn't add up. Only one of his crew was honest enough to say he wasn't qualified to have an opinion.
Quote:
SCARBOROUGH: You look at the metrics, you look at how it's set up, these numbers don't make any sense.

WILLIE GEIST (co-host): We need more explanation. We're reading through the report in great detail right now, because 114,000 jobs were added, which is below population growth, and a lot of people who projected that number, as Miles said, said if it comes down about 113, 120--

SCARBOROUGH: Anemic growth.

GEIST: You get about 8.1 percent unemployment. And now we've had a major tick down to 7.8 percent unemployment so we're still working through this.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): And this is in a time when we're seeing the worst long-term unemployment in recent history.

SCARBOROUGH: And the participation rates are historically low. There is an uptick in .1 percent I'm sorry, that's insignificant. These numbers don't add up.

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: Let me tell you something, seriously these numbers don't add up. They just don't. Again, I've got no dog in the fight here as far as the numbers go.

BRZEZINSKI: Cause you want them to be good, we all want them to be good.

SCARBOROUGH: I want them to be good. My dad was unemployed, I always, conservatives always get angry at me when I cheer good economic news, but Mike these numbers don't add up. It doesn't make sense it would drop to 7.8 percent with a weak participation rate and an anemic number of jobs added.

MIKE BARNICLE (co-host): Look, I am totally unqualified to weave my way through these numbers

SCARBOROUGH: Same here. Same with all of us.

BARNICLE: Try to figure it out, I am totally unqualified. I do know this though. That these new unemployment numbers, while offering promise and hope to a lot of people, I'm sure, won't offer promise or hope to an enormous number of people who are still unemployed in this country. There's a lot of unemployed people in this country. I don't know where the number came from, I hope it's accurate, but I just don't know.

[...]

GEIST: We should be very clear, I don't think any of us at this table is suggesting the Obama campaign or the White House is manipulating these numbers. We're just digging through the report and want to get it explained.

SCARBOROUGH: We just read Jack Welch's tweet for entertainment value. But I got to tell you though these numbers don't seem to add up. We need the Labor Department to explain. This is, though, every month it comes out, every month, this is such an inexact science. Every month, not just this month, that it's nonsense. They've got to figure out a better way, a more accurate way. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 10/5/12]


I can't say that I knew how the rate was determined exactly, but then again, I don't work for a news channel.

Last edited by KevinNYC : 10-06-2012 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:25 AM   #63
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

That dialogue sounds like it could've easily been on Fox and Friends.

The hell are they doing over at MSNBC, I thought they were trying to get Obama re-elected
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:43 AM   #64
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan
That dialogue sounds like it could've easily been on Fox and Friends.

The hell are they doing over at MSNBC, I thought they were trying to get Obama re-elected

Liberals don't watch morning shows. They don't get up until 11am anyway.

One thing I find really interesting about MSNBC is how young a lot of its hosts are. Maddow, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, that daytime show with a bunch of young folks.


Also I just found out another indicator there's something going on with the economy.
Quote:
Credit card customers are more responsible than they've been in over a decade.
Delinquencies on credit cards issued by banks dropped to the lowest level since 2001 during the second quarter, according to a report from the American Bankers Association released Thursday.

Only 2.93% of all bank card accounts were considered delinquent, meaning they were 30 days or more overdue. That's down from 3.08% in the first quarter and significantly lower than the 15-year average of 3.91%

The poster who posted that also said "This suggests that people have made real progress in getting that aspect of their finances in order.

Paying down debt rather than borrowing-and-spending is "bad" for growth -- except that it makes growth sustainable. Much healthier."
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #65
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlver
Not sure either as the BLS refuses to reveal how they seasonally adjust numbers, but a .3% drop in unemployment rate is unlikely and I expect a revision.

I think they stopped reveal the exact adjustment factors they use but I'm pretty sure they use an x-12 ARIMA model for seasonal adjustments. I dont have a ton of experience with the ARIMA model so i cant do much to clarify but there is info out there that you can google if you really want to know.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #66
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlver
After looking at the data, it does look like they did something different this year.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/arch...t_10072011.pdf
The same month, September 2011, the economy added 400k jobs compared to the 900k jobs during last month's report. A difference in 500k jobs only yields a difference in 40k jobs between 103k gain in 2011 and 140k gain in 2012. they did use a massively different seasonal adjustment.

This is not clear at all to me. Can you explain each of the numbers you're using here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlver
Not sure either as the BLS refuses to reveal how they seasonally adjust numbers, but a .3% drop in unemployment rate is unlikely and I expect a revision.

Since 2003 this is has been the Seasonal Adjustment Methodology at BLS
Quote:
from: BLS Handbook of Methods, Appendix A......
.....The new procedure, called X-12 ARIMA, (Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average) integrates ARIMA forecasting with X-11 seasonal adjustment very much like X-11 ARIMA did, but it also provides a lot of additional tools including some that enable the estimation and diagnosis of a wide range of special effects. BLS began using X-12 ARIMA for the seasonal adjustment of the establishment-survey series effective with the release of the 1995 benchmark revisions in June 1996, primarily because of the capabilities it offered for controlling for survey-interval effects as well as moving holidays.

The standard practice at BLS for current seasonal adjustment of data, as it is initially released, is to use projected seasonal factors which are published ahead of time. The time series are generally run through the seasonal adjustment program once a year to provide the projected factors for the ensuing months and the revised seasonally adjusted data for the recent history of the series, usually the last 5 years. It has generally been unnecessary to revise any further back in time because the programs which have been used have all accomplished the objective of stabilizing the factors for the earlier part of the series, and any further revisions would produce only trivial changes. For the projected factors, the factors for the last complete year of actual data were selected when the X-11 or BLS method programs were used.

It seems clear to me that BLS does reveal how they seasonally adjust numbers. And it seems the publish their methodology before applying it.

Here's the BLS document on how Season Adjustment and how to use X-12 ARIMA and how to download the X-12 ARIMA files.

Here's the document from January of this year explaining the seasonal adjustments for 2012. I can't see it saying anything about the changes for September of this year, just that when last September's number were revised they went from 9.1 to 9.0
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:19 AM   #67
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Gallup is reporting that the unemployment rate continues to drop, that it is at 7.3% (7.7% adjusted for seasonal employment) in mid October:
Gallup: The Unemployment Rate Is Collapsing

More evidence that the official 7.8% unemployment rate is not the wild outlier people initially thought.
This just in from Gallup:
--------
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 7.3% in mid-October, down considerably from 7.9% at the end of September and at a new low since Gallup began collecting employment data in January 2010. Gallup's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.7%, also down from September. October's adjusted mid-month measure is also more than a percentage point lower than October 2011.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/gallu...#ixzz29d0WSUDO
The recent housing reports also show signs of a recovery (finally):
Housing Starts Jump 15% to Four-Year U.S. High: Economy

Housing starts in the U.S. surged 15 percent in September to the highest level in four years, adding to signs of a revival in the industry at the heart of the financial crisis.

Beginning home construction jumped last month to an 872,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. An increase in building permits may mean the gains will be sustained.

“It’s no longer a question of whether the industry is rebounding,” Larry Sorsby, chief financial officer of Red Bank, New Jersey-based Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV), the best-performing homebuilding stock this year, said in a telephone interview today. “There is clear evidence that we have bounced off the bottom and are in the midst of a recovery.”

A pickup in sales stoked by record-low mortgage rates and population growth combined with dwindling supply indicates construction can continue strengthening, contributing more to economic growth. Improving demand may also help revive a part of the job market that’s seen construction employment fall by almost 2 million since the end of 2007.

“This is good news for the labor market,” said Anika Khan, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S. If single-family starts “continue to show this positive momentum, and we expect they will, we’ll likely start to see some construction jobs come back.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...year-high.html


:Waits for next jobs report to be released and more ridiculous conspiracy theories to emerge:
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:27 AM   #68
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentatm
I agree with you here.

I feel the same way about construction workers. You'll here politicians shit on those as temporary jobs but to those people that is what they rely on. There are always roads to fix, buildings to repairs, bridges in need of maintenance etc etc. Just b/c they won't always live in the same place where that work is needed doesnt change that its honest to goodness work.

a job is a job. It does not matter if its technically temporary b/c w/o it they can't spend money and move the economy.

The government construction worker may now have money to spend, but what about the people who are taxed to pay his salary? Those people now have an equal amount less to spend. So the economy isn't being "moved" any faster when the government creates jobs.

Last edited by joe : 10-18-2012 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:02 AM   #69
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
The government construction worker may now have money to spend, but what about the people who are taxed to pay his salary? Those people now have an equal amount less to spend. So the economy isn't being "moved" any faster when the government creates jobs.

Joe there is something in economics called a multiplier effect. So the effect is not one to one. Those construction workers would have a higher income and they would pay taxes on that and they spend more money on lunches at work and transportation, work clothes, beer and tips at their local bar.

So not only does the construction worker now have more disposable income, the restaurant owners and waitresses have a little bit more, the gas station owner has a little bit more and the clothing store owner and the bartender has a little bit more disposable income.

The real job losses in this current recession has been state and local workers. The private sector has created over 4.5 million jobs since unemployment bottomed in Jan 2010, however government jobs (which usually keep pace with population growth) have not only not kept pace, but are a down over a million jobs since Obama took office.

What's the effect of that? This estimate says with the multiplier effect
Quote:
roughly 0.67 private sector jobs are lost for every public sector job cut. This means that the public sector being down 1.1 million jobs has likely cost the private sector 751,000 jobs (1.1 million*0.67).

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
Those people now have an equal amount less to spend.

This is apples to oranges. Each taxpayer is not paying the full amount of the worker's salary, but a very tiny fraction of it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:14 AM   #70
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Just this month there has been a big debate on the size of the multiplier. People have been wondering why has the UK recovered even more slowly than the US, when the UK pursued austerity policies and cut their spending? Greece is even worse off having cutting deeply. Well the International Monetary Fund which has been recommending austerity all over the place has looked into the data an they found that
Quote:
Blanchard has just revolutionized the academic debate about economic policy and the crisis. In the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook Blanchard and his team have come up with new research which convinces them that austerity is the wrong way to go....... the question Blanchard's team addressed was the affect of cuts in government spending on gross domestic product growth. We know that cuts will reduce output, since there will be less money in the hands of the public to buy products and thus less incentive for manufacturers to make more. But it is hard to calculate how much the knock-on effects of the cuts bite into growth.

This is called the fiscal multiplier. Usually, we try to calculate this another way, by asking how much extra growth will a certain amount of extra government spending produce.

For the past decade and more, the IMF (and almost all government economists around the world) have assumed that the multiplier effect of spending cuts is 0.5; that is to say, cut public spending $100 billion and you cut growth $50 billion.

The new IMF research says this was wrong, and the multiplier effect is much greater -- somewhere between 0.9 and 1.7. That means that cuts of $100 billion means growth reduced $90 billion-$170 billion.

Wow! If that is right, the IMF is saying that the more you cut government spending the more your overall output will shrink -- and you will never get out of the hole. Your economic output just continues to decline, which is precisely what we have seen happening in Greece.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:34 AM   #71
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Here's the view from across the pond

Quote:
Euroland's debt strategy is an economic and moral disgrace
The International Monetary Fund has demolished the intellectual foundations of Europe's debt crisis strategy.

Drastic fiscal tightening in a string of interlinked countries does two to three times more damage than assumed, especially if there is no offsetting monetary stimulus.
Pushed beyond the therapeutic dose, it is self-defeating. At a certain point it becomes pain for pain's sake.
The error has long been obvious in Greece. The EU-IMF Troika originally said the economy would rebound quickly, growing 1.1pc in 2011, and 2.1pc in 2012, and on from there to sunlit uplands.
In fact, Greek GDP contracted by 4.5pc in 2010, 6.9pc in 2011, and is expected to shrink a further 6pc this year, and 4pc next year. If the Troika were a doctor, it would face manslaughter charges.
The IMF now admits -- or rather those in the IMF who always feared this outcome are at last able to say -- that this misjudgement goes far beyond Greece. Tightening by 1pc of GDP in rich countries does not lead to a 0.5pc loss of output over two years as thought.
The "fiscal multiplier" is not the hallowed 0.5 assumed by every finance ministry in Europe. The awful evidence since the global bubble burst in 2008-2009 is that the multiplier is between 0.9 and 1.7, or even higher for EMU's crucifixion belt.

....Steen Jakobsen from Saxo Bank says the IMF's mea culpa is the "biggest financial story of the year". Indeed it is. The authorities have repeated the blunders of the Great Depression, but with fewer excuses.....
"Reducing public debt is incredibly difficult without growth," said the IMF's Christine Lagarde. "Instead of frontloading heavily, it is sometimes better to have a bit more time."

What seems to be happening is not that they share the Euro, one country can't devalue its currency and increase its exports like they used to do and this might have changed the multiplier effect.

Last edited by KevinNYC : 10-18-2012 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:54 PM   #72
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Jobless claims snap back up
By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney October 18, 2012: 10:43 AM ET

Quote:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits are on a roller coaster. The number snapped back up last week, after falling to a four-year low the week before.
About 388,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended October 13, up 46,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The last two weeks have swung dramatically in both directions, with initial claims first dropping to a revised 342,000, the lowest level in four years, and then suddenly popping back up last week.
Economists attribute the volatility to the end of the quarter and the Columbus Day holiday.
"The volatility in the last few weeks appears to reflect seasonal adjustment challenges around the start of a quarter," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/18/news...html?hpt=hp_t3
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #73
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Multiplier effect is overestimated in times of recession imo. Also, govt spending isnt always a zero sum game like some choose to believe.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #74
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC
Joe there is something in economics called a multiplier effect. So the effect is not one to one. Those construction workers would have a higher income and they would pay taxes on that and they spend more money on lunches at work and transportation, work clothes, beer and tips at their local bar.

So not only does the construction worker now have more disposable income, the restaurant owners and waitresses have a little bit more, the gas station owner has a little bit more and the clothing store owner and the bartender has a little bit more disposable income.

The real job losses in this current recession has been state and local workers. The private sector has created over 4.5 million jobs since unemployment bottomed in Jan 2010, however government jobs (which usually keep pace with population growth) have not only not kept pace, but are a down over a million jobs since Obama took office.

What's the effect of that? This estimate says with the multiplier effect



This is apples to oranges. Each taxpayer is not paying the full amount of the worker's salary, but a very tiny fraction of it.

All you're doing in this scenario is shuffling the money around. Instead of the taxpayers having it, the construction workers have it. Instead of taxpayers giving money to the restaurant/bars of their choice, the construction workers give it to the restaurant/bars of their choice.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #75
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Default Re: Unemployment Drops Below 8%, Conservatives Cry Conspiracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
Multiplier effect is overestimated in times of recession imo. Also, govt spending isnt always a zero sum game like some choose to believe.

What do some choose to believe, and how is it not so?
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