January 5, 2018

Despite the "fire and fury" — "The U.S. added 148,000 jobs last month, as continued growth capped a year of increasing opportunities for American workers.'

The NYT reports the data that must be reported:
• 148,000 jobs were added last month, bringing the average over three months to 204,000.

• The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the same as in November.

• Average hourly earnings grew by 9 cents, to $26.63, bringing the year-over-year increase to 2.5 percent....

It is too early to measure the hiring effects of the corporate tax cut passed last month, but Mr. Trump’s agenda may be having a positive impact on the economy in other ways. His push to dismantle regulations on businesses seems to have emboldened corporations to start pouring more money into machines and plants, which is the kind of spending that drives broad growth....

There are signs beneath the surface, though, that more widespread wage growth may be around the corner. In areas where unemployment has dipped below the national rate, pay has begun to accelerate....

Over the last few months, the industries that have been performing particularly well have been construction and manufacturing — middle-wage, middle-skill sectors that had been lagging. Mining employers also posted solid gains throughout 2017, bucking a trend of job losses in recent years. Manual-labor positions are the kinds of jobs that Mr. Trump has promised to bring back in droves, so the uptick could be politically important.

59 comments:

rehajm said...

So this is what Armageddon looks like.

FleetUSA said...

MAGA. Even the NYT is starting to notice - reluctantly

David Begley said...

But Trump is a BAD guy and we don't like the way he talks. Ergo, insane, demented and he must be removed from office.

rehajm said...

Even the NYT is starting to notice

They ran out of metrics they could use paint a grim picture.

Tim at large said...

Any mention of the incredibly low black unemployment figures? Or is Trump still the guy who killed Emit Till?

Matthew Sablan said...

Hey, I bet we'll hear about the U-6 or whatever number a lot now, even though it was ignored for about 8 years. A lot like homelessness, that stat. Mainly relevant when a Republican is in office.

Tim at large said...

Turns out that blacks really do suffer the most from illegal immigration, just as economic theory would predict!

traditionalguy said...

No wonder the Roman Empire style World Governance apparatchiks are in a frenzy to remove, impeach, or assassinate DJT. Aristocrats with servant peasantry is the very best way to live. Every Communist has discovered this the day after their violent Revolution is over.

Bay Area Guy said...

America being made great again - NYT hardest hit

John Borell said...

Women and minorities hit the hardest.

Fritz said...

But someday the market will correct, and then it will be all Trump's fault.

Jersey Fled said...

Gee. Who would have thought that reducing taxes and regulation, or at least the expectation of same, would result in a stronger economy?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tim at large said...

Any mention of the incredibly low black unemployment figures?

Do you have a link for those numbers?

MadisonMan said...

Manual-labor positions are the kinds of jobs that Mr. Trump has promised to bring back in droves, so the uptick could be politically important.

It would also be important to the economy and to the people who get the jobs.

The NYTimes: Politics uber alles.

Anonymous said...

The irony is Wall Street was all-in for Hillary.

rehajm said...

Any mention of the incredibly low black unemployment figures?

Do you have a link for those numbers?


A start:

YOY Unemployment

Employment

Tim at large said...

My friend owned a small factory that relied exclusively on low skilled labor. Of course it has long since been wiped out by cheap Chinese competition, and he was never able to adapt and take advantage of the fact he was local, but that’s another story. He opened his factory in a heavily black neighborhood, and initially almost all of his employees were black, but a lot of times they didn’t show up for work, never bothered calling in, would just disappear, or whatever, and he would hire a Hispanic, and once they were in, they would keep the job forever. So eventually, by “natural selection” his employees were all Hispanic.

Now it might seem like the moral of this story is that you shouldn’t hire blacks, I don’t think so. I think that the moral of the story is that if the local black population hadn’t of had to compete with all of the imported low wage Hispanic labor, he would have eventually found a set of black employees who wanted to come to work every day, and to keep a job, and that would have helped by some tiny margin to undo the damage that has been done to the local black community over the history of the place, and in that city in particular, there was a lot of damage. I guess what I am saying is that I believe in borders, and that until American citizens are doing well, we shouldn’t be replacing them with foreigners because the profits are easier. There are seven or eight billion people on the planet, we can’t help them all. That makes me a “nativist” and possibly a “crypto white supremacist,” I guess.

The other thing is that we ought not to be allowing all of our low skill jobs to be sent overseas, keeping here only the jobs that require a lot of education and training for which many, many people born here will never be particularly suited. Maybe because they were born into circumstances that made a decent education impossible, or perhaps because they are unsuited by temperament to sit in classrooms absorbing abstract knowledge through abstract symbols.

You know the one guy who seems to understand this and seems to want to do something about it? His name is Donald J Trump.

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Begley said...

Article of impeachment against Donald J. Trump, "He doesn't read."

Guilty!

Tim at large said...

It is always funny to me how the same exact people who think that picket lines are sacred think that borders are an anachronism from another time that should be abolished.

Curious George said...

Inga will avoid this post like it had the clap.

Ray said...

I hope Trump goes after the black and Latino vote. The Democrats need the competition.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rehajm said...

A start

Yeah, African American unemployment is down. But it appears to have been trending that way for a while.

I think it is a good sign that we are now below the pre-recession level, and dropping at bit more quickly than last year, rather than leveling off. Of course that could just be noise.

Tim at large said...

Wealthy white “America is already great!” Democrats love the lack of border enforcement, makes getting a reliable cleaning lady easier, makes lawn care cheaper, helps their party win elections (wink, wink), etc, etc, etc... It’s the bottom of the economic ladder that is protected by borders. And by borders, I mean barriers to the free and effortless export of jobs too.

Tim at large said...

It’s hard to tell if the current steeper drop in black unemployment is a “blip” or a new trend, but certainly new factors are in place to explain a new trend. But it’s like climate, trends and blips are extremely difficult to distinguish. I think that the steeper dive can be explained by new barriers to low-wage, low-skill competition.

SteveR said...

All this economic news is great and ISIS is being crushed but HRC not being president is still the best part.

rhhardin said...

Wage growth is not itself good. If it's from productivity, that's good. If it's from inflation, that's bad.

If it's from more jobs bidding for workers, that's good if it draws out more workers, bad if it doesn't. In the inflation case, it doesn't.

rehajm said...

Yeah, African American unemployment is down. But it appears to have been trending that way for a while.

This is a valid point as it's consistent across the statistics for other ethnicities and the general population metric. I'd also point out one of the general shortcomings of looking at the unemployment rate exclusively: when you lose a job your time to be counted as unemployed is finite. If you don't find a job you eventually fall out of the statistic into the U-5 or U-6 measure (as Matthew points out above). During a long slow recovery looking at the U-3 (unemployment rate) exclusively can give the impression things are improving better and faster than they actually are.

Better to look at the traditional U-3 unemployment rate in tandem to the U-5, U-6 and Participation Rate.

Mike Sylwester said...

To win back the Rust Belt's blue-collar voters, the Democrats are implementing the following political strategy.

* Advocate the establishment of sanctuary cities for illegal aliens.

* Make racism accusations against anyone who questions Democrat policies.

* Prove that Trump collaborated with Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.

* Support Black football players who kneel during the National Anthem.

Fabi said...

They're trying to reclaim the "Stupid Party" label from the GOPe, Mike Sylwester!

Tim at large said...

If it’s from more jobs bidding for workers, that's good if it draws out more workers, bad if it doesn't. In the inflation case, it doesn’t.

What if the “inflation” in wages is just a mechanism to shift wealth from the owning class to the working class?

And, I have a question for you, rh, has there ever been a stock seen “in the wild” that over its lifetime, or let’s say thirty years, paid out all of its earnings to shareholders as the “present value of all future earning” was determined in its stock price thirty years prior? I kind of doubt it. I think the stock market is more like fantasy football than bitcoin. Everybody agrees to assign “points” in fantasy football based on a remote on-field performance by unrelated entities, football teams and players. Money changes hands per the agreed rules defining value.

Michael K said...

"So eventually, by “natural selection” his employees were all Hispanic."

Los Angeles had a black area called Watts that was south of downtown. That area is now all Hispanic and the black area seems to have shifted east. The jobs have not moved.

Tim at large said...

In other words, the black community in Watts was screwed by immigration. A policy of the party that purports to represent them politically.

Michael said...

It will be nice for a change to see our progressive commenters having something nice to say about Trump's first year in office. Hard to rag against these numbers, these sentiments. Then I might be wrong. This positive news may put a sad on the progs who would probably far prefer an economic collapse accompanied by impeachment.

alan markus said...

@ Curious George:

Inga will avoid this post like it had the clap.

No, Inga will avoid it because she is the clap, and news like this is penicillin.

buwaya said...

Best to look at the labor force and total population employment rates. The "U" rates meant something when the labor force proportions were stable or rising (due to the decades of increasing female labor participation), but lost most value when the labor force participation fell. They dont capture all changes in underlying numbers.

This was the case from 2001 on, and much more so since 2008, which marks a fundamental change in the US labor market. This is the biggest social change in the US since the 1960s and has been near-totally ignored, or suppressed, by the MSM and all official institutions. Ignoring "the 500-pound gorilla in the living room" is putting it mildly.

Its too early to detect any significant change in those numbers. They have been only very slowly improving since 2010, whatever the other economic metrics do.

That, more than anything else, explains Trump, I think. The fundamental distress, and moreso the hard-faced, contemptuous attitude of all the great and good towards it.

YoungHegelian said...

His push to dismantle regulations on businesses seems to have emboldened corporations to start pouring more money into machines and plants, which is the kind of spending that drives broad growth....

Or, I've got another explanation: that American business never really trusted The Magic Negro & his administration, but, if a NYT reporter showed up at the offices of the X Corporation & management told the reporter of their fears of the Obama administration (e.g. "I'm the only thing standing between you & the pitchforks"), that reporter would go & write a diatribe about how racist management was. The corporation would then have to walk-back the resulting PR disaster.

But it's clear now: American business never trusted the Obama-ites. They were just cowed into silence. Actions have spoken louder than words.

buwaya said...

Also, there is business and there is business.
There is no uniform set of interests for all commercial enterprises. There are some that will find ways to prosper in statist environments - a great number in fact, quite as predicted by Schumpeter.
Your hypothetical reporter could always find a sincerely supportive businessman or senior functionary of some large enterprise, who found prosperity in contemporary conditions.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Democrats need to import an underclass. They need the votes, and the rest of us need to pay for it all.

Michael K said...

a fundamental change in the US labor market. This is the biggest social change in the US since the 1960s

One huge change is the opening up of Social Security disability claims.

This has subtracted millions from the work force and loaded SS with millions more claims.

It was originally intended to be a safety net retirement for old people with no other source of income after work life is over.

The addition of disability status was not intended.

Now, we have millions out of the work force and onto the SS rolls.

I am way past the age of eligibility but still work part time and my annual self employment tax" is equal to the retirement benefits I get.

The added load on SS by the Democrats will hasten the failure of the system.

Big Mike said...

They're trying to reclaim the "Stupid Party" label from the GOPe, Mike Sylwester!

@Fabi, considering that the GOP establishment set out to make the Alabama special election a showdown between Luther Strange and Roy Moore, and got Roy Moore on the way to shaving their margin in the Senate from 52-48 down to 51-49, I’d say the Dems have their work cut out for them.

Drago said...

Bay Area Guy: "America being made great again - NYT hardest hit"

Actualy, it's LLR Chuck hardest hit. And its not even close since the NYT is at least conceding the numbers.

Biff said...

BTW, a friend of mine is an Alaska Airlines flight attendant and just posted to her Facebook account that the airline gave its employees $1,000 bonuses because of the tax cuts.

Seeing Red said...

Southwest is giving $1000 bonuses to all their employees.

Mcbean. Coco Mcbean. said...

This is a total aside, and a pretty random first comment to make after years of lurking, but it struck me as I was reading through the comments how interesting a meal with some of these commenters would be. One group that comes to mind is althouse, buwaya, michael k, and farmer.

Lem said...

Trumps Mad Money

Remember that time Althouse was pissed because a show she liked was replaced with Kramer’s Mad Money?

I forget what the show was.

Now Althouse plays economics pundit.

Drago said...

Seeing Red: "Southwest is giving $1000 bonuses to all their employees"

Just like Hitler.

Michael said...

Where are our progressive commenters? Do they have a sad on because of this great economic news? Or are they refining their "wait for the correction" commentary which has been so incisive and timely these last twelve months.

Michael K said...

One group that comes to mind is althouse, buwaya, michael k, and farmer.

I already told Meade that we have an extra bedroom.

Tucson temp is down to 73 today, though,

Tim at large said...

A correction will come, but a boom founded on cheap energy seems more secure than one founded on no check mortgages.

Michael said...

I have had it my mind to host a dinner at my NY club. Would have Michael K, Drago, Robert Cook,buwaya, Inga and Ritmo if Inga can lend him a nice dress suitable for the club. I would expect it to be a very nice evening in which all would leave with a different impression of their fellows.

A West Coast event could be organized as well.

Michael said...

Just kidding about the dress ritmo.

buwaya said...

Alas, you really don't want me.
I am quite boring and moreover repetitive.

Tim at large said...

We could have an Althouse cruise, but the possibility of unsolved overboard disappearances probably suggests it’s not such a great idea.

320Busdriver said...


Blogger Seeing Red said...
Southwest is giving $1000 bonuses to all their employees.

As is American, Jetblue(crew only?), and now Alaska.

Michael said...

No comment from the lefties. Not one

Kirk Parker said...

"A West Coast event could be organized as well"

I spent quite a while hinting at a Puget Sound meet up, but I guess it's too far for her to drive...

Bruce Hayden said...

“I spent quite a while hinting at a Puget Sound meet up, but I guess it's too far for her to drive...”

Make it in the summer, and I could attend. Not a horrible drive from NW MT. This time of year though? San Diego would be more temperate, and a lot closer to us in AZ.

Kirk Parker said...

Of course we'd do it in the summer! One little-known fact about the area is that the summers are fairly dry; our well-deserved reputation for gray, drizzly days comes mostly from October through May weather.