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Jobs report positive.

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    312,000 jobs added, wages up, consumer spending up. I don't believe it.

    Another opinion from businesses for minimum wage increase.

    "Consumer spending is stagnating—in the first quarter of the year, the U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending rose a scant 1 percent, the lowest in five years—and real wages are not rising despite low unemployment. A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows average real hourly earnings are actually lower than they were a year ago"

    The second opinion is from this summer but it generally contradicts the jobs report.

    Don't believe that the higher tariffs support the new jobs numbers.

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    Chet -- I am confused by your post (as usual).

    I have no reason to doubt the Bureau of Labor Statics numbers on jobs added. I have used their numbers repeatedly in this website. The 312,000 jobs added is an approximation and is subject to adjustment next month, which is often the case in issuing these numbers. It could go up or down a few thousand, but I respect the professionalism of the BLS staff to not "cook the books" for Trump.

    Furthermore, I don't know where you got that "another opinion" but since you provided a link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I clicked on it and found this for 2018 through November:

    "Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.3 percent from October to November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.2-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with no change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

    "Real average hourly earnings increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, from November 2017 to November 2018. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 0.5-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period."

    These numbers do not jive with your statements above. If you're comparing a first quarter 2018 US Commerce Department report with a current BLS statistics report, then I would say making that comparison is woefully inaccurate.

    Unless of course you think the BLS numbers are bullshit because you just don't want to believe them.

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    Keep in mind the BLS reports are estimates, subject to revision(s), and even methodology changes.

    The truth is we don’t have “hard” aggregate data on the “economy,” which is all the more reason to have a Job Guarantee that would allow the “economy” to tell policy makers what’s going on.

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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Chet -- I am confused by your post (as usual).

    I have no reason to doubt the Bureau of Labor Statics numbers on jobs added. I have used their numbers repeatedly in this website. The 312,000 jobs added is an approximation and is subject to adjustment next month, which is often the case in issuing these numbers. It could go up or down a few thousand, but I respect the professionalism of the BLS staff to not "cook the books" for Trump.

    Furthermore, I don't know where you got that "another opinion" but since you provided a link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I clicked on it and found this for 2018 through November:

    "Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.3 percent from October to November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.2-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with no change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

    "Real average hourly earnings increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, from November 2017 to November 2018. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 0.5-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period."

    These numbers do not jive with your statements above. If you're comparing a first quarter 2018 US Commerce Department report with a current BLS statistics report, then I would say making that comparison is woefully inaccurate.

    Unless of course you think the BLS numbers are bullshit because you just don't want to believe them.

    Too many radical changes over a short period of time cannot produce meaningful data. I stand by my prediction that Trump is going to produce a disastrous recession. The BLS was cited by the author of the second opinion for an earlier quarter. I'll cite that article.

    businessforafairminimumwage.org/news/00...

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    Schmidt said:

    "Unless of course you think the BLS numbers are bullshit because you just don't want to believe them."

    They are BS. Gleaning real numbers from a system enduring wild senseless pressures is simply the function of a department putting out material to justify their paychecks. They have to produce something in a period that they should really remain silent about.

    Carlitos touched on the reality.

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    For instance if the US credit rating is downgraded. Trumps tax cut was also an income cut for the USA. IS that going to generate an increase in our interest payments due to a severe loss of income. If a family has a loss of income their mortgage might be called in for payoff.
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    Don't forget these numbers are for December; the January numbers may be a lot less due to "season" employment in December. (temporary workers)
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    To clarify, the numbers aren’t “wrong.” Maybe how they are “counting” is wrong. If you think the result is too high, you are saying that the initial report will be revised down.
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    Carlitos Wrote: To clarify, the numbers aren’t “wrong.” Maybe how they are “counting” is wrong. If you think the result is too high, you are saying that the initial report will be revised down.
    At best these numbers are the result of Trump anomalies and are in no way an indication of a sustainable pattern of prosperity. As such there should be a special connotation or asterisk foot noting. These Trump jobs are the same as classifying people hired to clean up after a massive disaster as permanent jobs. The FDA requires years to establish a drug. The BLS should reach up to a meaningful representation. The explanation for the rise in unemployment numbers is pitiful. They say it is due to more people looking for jobs. Well the 312,000 were looking for jobs before they got hired. So if their number didn't reduce the unemployment number then previous number must have been wrong. Credentialism is giving a pass to creative number calculations. How do they account for "people looking for jobs"?
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    The jobs report is truly fantastic...if someone having any type of job at all is the only parameter we're focusing on.

    What the jobs report doesn't take into account is something I'm far more worried about: the working poor becoming an ever greater share of the US workforce. The cost of living in many parts of the country is skyrocketing and wages are woefully behind in making up for the extra costs. That's why people with full time jobs are still finding themselves at food pantries and second-hand clothing stores.

    I genuinely don't know how a coffee shop employee in Portland is able to afford rent or pay for her groceries. We have one of the highest minimum wages in the country, but good luck even getting a studio apartment on that salary.

    I would love to see us begin shifting the conversation away from a "jobs guarantee" and towards a "basic standard of living guarantee."

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    Does that include people who are working 2 or more jobs just to make it or to get by? And, what kind of jobs? Part time jobs? I'll bet that's what it is, because not all corporations or companies hire FULL TIME employees. And consumer spending being up? Yeah, it's called credit card debt.

    "The 2018 American Household Credit Card Debt Study found the total number of debt racked up to $13.51 trillion, while credit card balances reached $420.22 billion."

    kvoa.com/news/national-news/2018/12/17/...

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    Here is one of many reasons I consider BLS data as meaningless. From there informaion.

    "Who is counted as employed?

    People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week. This includes all part-time and temporary work, as well as regular full-time, year-round employment. Individuals also are counted as employed if they have a job at which they did not work during the survey week, whether they were paid or not, because they were:"

    bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#employed

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    Dockadams Wrote:

    Does that include people who are working 2 or more jobs just to make it or to get by? And, what kind of jobs? Part time jobs? I'll bet that's what it is, because not all corporations or companies hire FULL TIME employees. And consumer spending being up? Yeah, it's called credit card debt.

    "The 2018 American Household Credit Card Debt Study found the total number of debt racked up to $13.51 trillion, while credit card balances reached $420.22 billion."

    kvoa.com/news/national-news/2018/12/17/...

    Dockadams, 60% of the population can't pay a $1000 medical bill.
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    jaredsxtn said:

    "I would love to see us begin shifting the conversation away from a "jobs guarantee" and towards a "basic standard of living guarantee.""

    And finance that from taxes on new jobs created by a tax code that incentivises products and services. It can even be qualified to finance new programs from new revenue.

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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Here is one of many reasons I consider BLS data as meaningless. From there informaion.

    "Who is counted as employed?

    People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week. This includes all part-time and temporary work, as well as regular full-time, year-round employment. Individuals also are counted as employed if they have a job at which they did not work during the survey week, whether they were paid or not, because they were:"

    bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#employed

    Chet -- Thanks for sharing the BLS explanation of how the employment numbers are calculated:

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

    There is a lot in the write-up from October, 2015 other than just the paragraph you cherry picked. It goes on to explain the BLS methodology for the various employment statistics including how they account for seasonal variations in employment and other factors such as labor force participation rates. It would take hours to go through not only the article but all the links. I certainly learned more in my browsing through it.

    I have to say I appreciated their total transparency of how they do things along with links to their databases. The fact that the many professionals in the BLS have been doing this for almost 80 years (since 1940) without any party or presidential bias assures me that the numbers are as good as they can get.

    However, no matter about the professionalism, I can certainly understand that facts and established accounting methods are no match for someone's "gut feel". People believe what they want to believe, and as Trump has indicated, "gut feel" will always trump sound engineering and accounting analyses for those so emotionally inclined to disbelieve.