Job openings and recession

The United States has what is called a consumer driven economy; in other words spending by consumers provides a significant component of GDP. In America’s case consumer spending accounts for over 70% of GDP and here is a problem: if people aren’t working they aren’t spending. Unemployment in America remains at record highs while [...]

Manufacturing gains ZERO jobs in April

I’ve previously written about America’s mythical manufacturing revival so here is the latest installment off the back of Friday’s job numbers.

How many jobs were created in the manufacturing sector in April?

Precisely ZERO.

Seems like the sector is driving increases in productivity over increases in employment.


Commodity wipeout or the recovery that wasn’t

Oh the forces of deflation are strong! What’s happening to commodity prices? In spite of claims about an economic recovery, we’re seeing a broad decline in commodity prices over the past three months. The chart above tracks $DJAEN, a measure of energy commodities (grey area curve in the background), $DJAPR (red line), a measure [...]

A rather anemic recovery

The amount of money a business entity has left after all costs have been paid – corporate profits after tax – indicates the overall health of the economy. As these profits grow then businesses are expanding, hiring new workers, and investing in infrastructure.

The chart above shows Corporate Profits After Tax (CP, black [...]

Watch today’s durable goods

January durable goods orders surprised to the downside, with demand sharply down 5.2%, the first drop since August 2012 (when we saw a fall of 6.6%) and the most in three years. Most of this was attributed to a sharp fall in demand for US aircraft but regardless the knock on effect is clear: [...]

Slow growth and low inflation

The chart above shows two series: first Real Potential GDP (GDPPOT, black line, measured quarterly) compared to Real Gross Domestic Product (GDPC1, blue line, measured quarterly) for the period 2003 to 2013. The vertical gray bar is The Great Recession (aka, “the lesser depression”, or “the Long Recession”) which began in December 2007 and [...]

Poor wage growth, poor recovery

The chart above shows Total Private Job Openings (JTS1000JOL, black line, measured monthly in thousands and seasonally adjusted) compared to Total Private Average Hourly Earnings (AHETPI, % change from one year ago, measured monthly and seasonally adjusted). I’m comparing The Great Recession which ended in June 2009 to the Early 2000s Recession, which ended [...]

Who is working?

Of course unemployment fell, the chart above shows the labour force participation rate (CIVPART, black line) from January 1st 1980 to November 1st 2012, measured monthly in percent. In terms of folks working only 63.6% of the labour force participate in the grand experiment known as “employment”. This is the lowest number since September [...]

Slow jobs growth in 2012

The chart above shows ADP Total Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (NPPTTL, black line) for the period January 2002 to November 2012, specifically the year on year percent change in growth. In 2012 we have seen a sharp slowdown in jobs creation from January to November, with manufacturing showing a net loss in employment. While [...]

What happened to the recovery?

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank calculates both coincident and leading indexes for all states as well as the nation. The coincident index is a measure of the current state of the economy. The leading indicators are of particular interest since they forecast the six month growth rate for coincident index; in other words, give [...]