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Fri Feb 3, 2017, 09:33 AM

Payroll employment rises by 227,000 in January; unemployment rate changes little (4.8%)

Last edited Fri Feb 3, 2017, 03:03 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Payroll employment rises by 227,000 in January; unemployment rate changes little (4.8%)

Economic News Release USDL-17-0141

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until 8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 3, 2017

Technical information:
Household data: (202) 691-6378 * cpsinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * cesinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JANUARY 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities.
....

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 7.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 4.8 percent, were little changed in January. (See table A-1. For information about annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates, see the notes at the end of this news release and tables B and C.)
....

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.4 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 244,000. (See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian labor force increased by 584,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, was up by 457,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio edged up to 59.9 percent. (See table A-1. For additional information about the effects of the population adjustments, see table C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in January at 5.8 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In January, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 337,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 532,000 discouraged workers in January, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in January. Employment increased in retail trade, construction, and financial activities. (See table B-1. For information about the annual benchmark process, see the notes at the end of this news release and table A.)
....

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $26.00, following a 6-cent increase in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.84. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down from +204,000 to +164,000, and the change for December was revised up from +156,000 to +157,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the November and December revisions. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 183,000 per month.

_____________
The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 10, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



Read more: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm



[center]Facilities for Sensory Impaired[/center]

Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339.

-- -- -- --

I'm on a borrowed computer, as mine is still booting. This can take twenty minutes. I'll edit this when I can.

Gummint news release, so fair use limit does not apply. You paid for this.

This is lower than ADP's report, released Wednesday.

The BLS release is still non-partisan. How long that will last, I cannot say.

This is the last release of data from the Obama administration.

Today's rant (see post #7) contains updated links to Federal websites. Federal sites now start with "https," not "http."

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Reply Payroll employment rises by 227,000 in January; unemployment rate changes little (4.8%) (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 OP
bigdarryl Feb 2017 #1
MadBadger Feb 2017 #2
Skittles Feb 2017 #9
Javaman Feb 2017 #3
Lanius Feb 2017 #4
IronLionZion Feb 2017 #5
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 #7
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 #8
BumRushDaShow Feb 2017 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 #11
BumRushDaShow Feb 2017 #12

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 09:48 AM

1. This is still Obama's economy

 

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 10:29 AM

2. Well my company is laying off 1000 people Wednesday and next week.

So that one goes on the Trump economy.

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Response to MadBadger (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 03:46 PM

9. I commiserate

I am not kidding when I say I have been under a layoff culture for two decades

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 11:32 AM

3. if he's still prez in a year, let's see how we are doing then...

me thinks not so well.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 11:38 AM

4. LOL, you know Chump will take credit for this

despite it still being Obama's economy until October 1.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 12:34 PM

5. Thanks Obama

although Drumpf will take the credit.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 12:56 PM

6. Swell charts 'n' stuff at BLS Twitter feed and TWSJ.







I hope these aren't pay-per-view.

The January Jobs Report in 10 Charts

By Josh Zumbrun and Nick Timiraos

josh.zumbrun@wsj.com
@JoshZumbrun

Nick.Timiraos@wsj.com
@NickTimiraos

Feb 3, 2017 9:42 am ET

The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January and more Americans joined the labor force, while wages rose modestly.

The official unemployment rate was 4.8% in January. But as a candidate, President Donald Trump often favored broader measures of unemployment, that include discouraged workers or workers who have part-time work but want full-time jobs. The rate that includes all discouraged and marginally attached workers (known as U-5) was 5.8% in January, while the broadest underemployment measure that includes part-time workers who want full-time jobs stood at 9.4%.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 01:10 PM

7. The mind-numbing rant, copied from my thread posted on the first Friday in September.

Big change: BLS sites now require https:, not http:.

[font color="red"]FROM SEPTEMBER. NEEDS EDITING. These will be (or should be) the talking points:

1) A gain of 151,000 is below Wednesday's estimate by ADP[sup]®[/sup] of a gain of 177,000 jobs and the similar estimate this morning and yesterday morning in TWSJ. of a gain of 180,000.[sup]1,2,3[/sup] ;
2) "In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $25.73. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent." ;
3) "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." ;
4) "Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, were unchanged in August. (See table A-1.)"[sup]4[/sup] ;
5) The civilian noninstitutional population not in the labor force went from 94,333,000 in July to 94,391,000 in August, an increase of 58,000.[sup]5[/sup] ;
6) The number of "{persons not in the labor force} who currently want a job" is 5,833,000. Therefore, the percentage of those not in the labor force who want a job now is (5,833,000/94,391,000) times 100%, or 6.2%.[sup]6[/sup] ; and
7) "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."[/font]

[sup]1[/sup] ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 177,000 Jobs in August

[sup]2[/sup] August Jobs Report: Everything You Need to Know

[sup]3[/sup] 5 Things to Watch in the August Jobs Report

[sup]4[/sup] I've added mention of the employment-population ratio, aka the employment to population ratio, as progree argues that it is more worthy of attention than the labor force participation rate (LFPR). See: Over the past month, over the past year, and since February 2010

[sup]5[/sup] The datum "civilian noninstitutional population not in the labor force" is in Table A-1. It's also at Not in Labor Force. (Hat tip, progree: Only 6.3% of those 94 million "unemployed" people want a job now.) Some people make a big deal out of this number, so to keep them happy, here it is.

[sup]6[/sup] The figure is also found in or derived from Table A-1. Once again, I'm indebted to progree for pointing out the significance of these data: Only 6.3% of those 94 million "unemployed" people want a job now).

[font color="red"]END SEPTEMBER INFORMATION[/font]


[center]Facilities for Sensory Impaired[/center]

Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339.


[center]Introduction[/center]

Good morning, Freepers and DUers alike. I especially welcome our good friends from across the aisle. You're paying for this information too, so I am absolutely delighted to have you participate in this thread. Please, everyone, put aside your differences long enough to digest the information. After that, you can engage in your usual donnybrook.

Full disclosure: I do not work for BLS, nor am I friends with anyone over there. I'm just someone who appreciates the work they do. My sole connection with the agency is that I've been in the building to pick up some publications.

Thank you for being a part of this thread.

If you don't have the time to study the report thoroughly, here is the news in a nutshell:

Commissioner's Statement on The Employment Situation

It is easy to find one paragraph, or one sentence, or one datum in this report that will support the most outlandish of conclusions, from "the sky is falling" to "we'll have blue skies, nothing but blue skies, from now on." Easy, but disingenuous.

Every month, you can find something in the report that will cause you concern. Take the information in context. Consider not just this month’s data, but the trend.

Please take the time to look at progree's not-to-be-missed thread containing his thoughtful analysis, updated monthly. Here is the latest version:

Economy facts with links to official sources, rev 8/5/16.

This month, he also presented his analysis in the eighth reply in this thread:

Over the past month, over the past year, and since February 2010

Thank you so much for that, progree.

Let's begin with a couple of questions:


[center]What Is the Bureau of Labor Statistics?
Why Does It Release All These Numbers Every Month?
[/center]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics and serves as a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. The BLS is a governmental statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor representatives. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor, and conducts research into how much families need to earn to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living.

The BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness in reflecting today’s rapidly changing economic conditions, accuracy and consistently high statistical quality, and impartiality in both subject matter and presentation. To avoid the appearance of partiality, the dates of major data releases are scheduled more than a year in advance, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget.

[font color="red"]New material, added August 29, 2016:[/font] Print title, Washington Post, Saturday, March 10, 2012, front page, above the fold: "Watching the clock: Monthly data release is an economic, political obsession timed to the nanosecond"

‘Jobs Day’: Monthly release of employment data an economic, political obsession

By Eli Saslow
http://twitter.com/elisaslow

March 9, 2012

The release of employment numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has long been a ritual in Washington, but lately it has turned into an obsession during an election year defined by economic instability. Once each month, a nondescript government agency compiles and releases 24 tables of economic data that have come to define the 2012 election and so much else. Republican presidential candidates turn the numbers into speeches. The president’s staff monitors how they affect his approval rating. The Federal Reserve reevaluates interest rates. Investors prepare for the stock market to rise or fall, sometimes swinging in value by $150 billion in the minutes after the report is released.
....

The raw data had arrived at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), like always, on Wednesday the week before the report’s release: millions of characters representing survey information from 55,000 households; and then, a few days later, monthly payroll data from 486,000 businesses. Kosanovich’s boss posted a two-page schedule on the office wall, detailing the tasks ahead for a team of more than 20 economists. They would be required to make a series of six deadlines. Their work would undergo 15 fact checks and then 15 clearance reviews. They would sit together in a windowless conference room and read aloud from their eventual creation, a three-page news release and 24 data tables, debating commas and verbs for hours on end.

They would do it all with absolute discretion during an eight-day security lockdown, signing confidentiality agreements each morning, encrypting their computers and locking data into a safe every time they walked 10 yards away to use a bathroom. “Is your workstation secure?” asked a sign in the hallway. They all remembered the last security miscue, in November 2008 — the accidental transmission of some data to one wire service a full 25 seconds before the report’s scheduled release, an incident that had necessitated a series of internal investigations and revisions.

“We always tape paper over the windows of the conference room or draw the shades,” Kosanovich said about her typical routine during a lockdown. She made a habit of refraining from answering phone calls or e-mails from unknown numbers and never discussing data outside her office. For eight days, nobody visited her team’s floor at BLS without a security clearance. The custodial staff did not empty their trash until the report was released.
....


[center]Household Survey vs. Establishment Survey[/center]

From the February 10, 2011, DOL Newsletter:

Take Three

Secretary Solis answers three questions about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment rates.

How does BLS determine the unemployment rate and the number of jobs that were added each month?

BLS uses two different surveys to get these numbers. The household survey, or Current Population Survey (CPS), involves asking people, from about 60,000 households, a series of questions to assess each person in the household's activities including work and searching for work. Their responses give us the unemployment rate. The establishment survey, or Current Employment Statistics (CES), surveys 140,000 employers about how many people they have on their payrolls. These results determine the number of jobs being added or lost.


[center]Complaint Department[/center]

I post this information on a nonpartisan basis. I am not here to make elected officials of any party or persuasion look good. I am certain that the people who compile these data are of the same outlook. They are civil servants. They do not work for a party; they work for you, the American people.

My only contribution is to cut and paste a few paragraphs from the BLS and then, in the commentary, link to some sources that I feel are trustworthy. I hope people come away with a better understanding of the data after reading this thread. Once again, I do not work for BLS, but I will nonetheless try to assist if I can.

If you feel the Bureau of Labor Statistics is handing out bunk, start here:

Point of Contact for Complaints Concerning Information Quality

Affected persons who believe that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has disseminated information that does not meet its guidelines or those of the Department of Labor or Office of Management and Budget, and who wish to file a formal complaint may send their complaint by mail, e-mail, or fax to:

Division of Management Systems
Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor
2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Room 4080
Washington, D.C., 20212-0001
E-mail: dataqa@bls.gov
Fax: (202) 691-5111

Complainants should:

Identify themselves and indicate where and how they can be reached;
Identify, as specifically as possible, the information in question;
Indicate how they are affected by the information about which they are complaining;
Carefully describe the nature of the complaint, including an explanation of why they believe the information does not comply with OMB, Departmental, or agency-specific guidelines; and
Describe the change requested and the reason why the agency should make the change.

Failure to include this information may result in a complainant not receiving a response to the complaint or greatly reducing the usefulness or timeliness of any response. Complainants should be aware that they bear the burden of establishing that they are affected persons and showing the need and justification for the correction they are seeking, including why the information being complained about does not comply with applicable guidelines.


[center]We Got the Beat.[/center]

[font color="red"]FROM SEPTEMBER. NEEDS EDITING.[/font]

August Jobs Report: Everything You Need to Know

Last report before the next Fed meeting will be critical

By WSJ Staff

Sep 2, 2016 7:58 am ET



ASSOCIATED PRESS
Yes, it’s that time again, folks. Jobs Friday, when for one ever-so-brief moment the interests of Wall Street, Washington and Main Street are all aligned on one thing: jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to report that the economy added 180,000 jobs in August, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.8%. In July, the economy added 255,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate was 4.9%.

Here at MoneyBeat HQ, we will crunch the numbers, track the markets and compile the commentary before and after the data crosses the wires.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

You forgot to say "And while you’re here, why don’t you sign up to follow us on Twitter" and "Enjoy the show."

Before we do anything else, let's give credit to the workers behind the MoneyBeat blog:

The MoneyBeat Team:

Stephen Grocer
Editor

Phillipa Leighton-Jones
European Editor

Erik Holm
Deputy Editor

Maureen Farrell
Reporter, New York

Paul Vigna
Reporter, New York

David Cottle
Reporter, London

Kristen Scholer
Reporter, New York

Giles Turner
Reporter, London

MoneyBeat Columnists

Ronald Barusch
Dealpolitik

[font color="red"]off this assignment:
[strike]Francesco Guerrera
Current Account[/strike][/font]

[font color="red"]off this assignment:
[strike]Alen Mattich[/strike][/font]

Jason Zweig
The Intelligent Investor

[font color="red"]off this assignment:
[strike]Michael J. Casey
Horizons [/strike][/font]

E. S. Browning

First comment:

8:24 am

Weak ISM puts even more pressure on this report

Thursday’s unexpectedly poor ISM manufacturing reading makes today’s monthly jobs report all the more important, says Mike Bell, strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.4 in August from 52.6 in July. A reading above 50 indicates factory activity is growing, while a reading under 50 signals contraction.

“We’ll be looking at hours worked within the manufacturing sector to see if there’s confirmation of the weakness,” he says, pointing to recent divergence between Thursday’s ISM report and U.S. manufacturing PMIs, which point to more solid growth.

While it’s not his base case, “a weak outlook for jobs growth in the U.S. could be viewed as confirmation of a slowdown in manufacturing and a rebound of concerns about potential recession probabilities increasing.”

by Riva Gold

5 Things to Watch in the August Jobs Report

The Labor Department on Friday releases the August jobs report. Watch for signs the economy can maintain this summer's renewed momentum in job growth. Economists project the economy added 180,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.8% from 4.9% in July.
1 Sep 2016 11:51am BY ERIC MORATH
Eric.Morath@wsj.com
https://twitter.com/EricMorath


[font color="red"]END SEPTEMBER INFORMATION[/font]

[center]How Do You Define Unemployment?
The Large Print Giveth, and the Fine Print Taketh Away.
[/center]

Long ago, a DUer pointed out that, if I'm going to post the link to the press release, I should include the link to all the tables that provide additional ways of examining the data. Specifically, I should post a link to Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization. Table A-15 includes those who are not considered unemployed, on the grounds that they have become discouraged about the prospects of finding a job and have given up looking. Here is that link:

Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization

Also, hat tip, Recursion: How the Government Measures Unemployment

[font color="red"]New material, added August 8, 2016:[/font]

This appeared at the top of page A2 in the Wednesday, July 27, 2016, print edition of The Wall Street Journal. as "Jobless Picture is Open to Interpretation."

Jobless Picture is Open to Interpretation

Gauges used to measure unemployment vary in how they define who is out of work {print: "Political campaigns clash over different ways of measuring unemployment"}



By Josh Zumbrun
josh.zumbrun@wsj.com
@JoshZumbrun

July 26, 2016 7:56 p.m. ET

Because political campaigns can rise and fall on the health of the economy, spats often flare over the gauges used to measure growth and unemployment.

The latest dust-up, raised by the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, focuses on the monthly employment numbers. A long streak of hiring has nudged the jobless rate down to 4.9%. ... Donald Trump Jr., the nominee’s son, recently criticized the official statistics as “artificial numbers…massaged to make the existing economy look good.”

The nominee himself has said unemployment is far higher than the Labor Department’s headline 4.9% rate would suggest, part of his message that the economy is in a dire state. After he won the New Hampshire primary in February, Mr. Trump called the official jobless figures “phony” and said the real number could be as high as 42%.

This isn’t the first time people have cast aspersions on the jobs numbers in an election year, but the Trump claim is also part of a larger discussion over how best to assess the health of the labor market.

The following link to Barron's might not work for everyone. See progree's tips.[/font] From the July 20, 2015, issue of Barron's:

Refresher Course: Inside the Jobless Numbers

Are we undercounting the unemployment numbers—or overcounting? How the BLS gathers and calculates the numbers, and why it matters.

By Gene Epstein
July 18, 2015

The unemployment rate has never been the object of as much attention from the markets and the media as it is now, sparked by the keen interest taken in its monthly fluctuations by policy makers at the Federal Reserve.

Despite the heightened focus, there are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about how the rate is calculated. Some people assume the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the rate from the unemployment-insurance rolls. On that basis, they fault the BLS for undercounting the unemployed. But that’s just one myth among many about this cornerstone measure of economic pain and labor-market slack.

To estimate the unemployment rate, the BLS actually relies on the monthly Current Population Survey conducted for it by the Census Bureau. While the data are highly imperfect in their own way, we think the Federal Reserve is right to view the official unemployment rate as the best available information, while also keeping its eye on ancillary measures of “labor underutilization.”

In fact, a close look at BLS methods suggests that, if anything, the official unemployment rate may be overcounting rather than undercounting the unemployed.


[font color="red"]New material:[/font] In August 2015, DUers whatthehey and progree got into a 1995 report from economists John E. Bregger and Steven E. Haugen. The .pdf is unfortunately an image and thus challenging as a source of quotes. Trying to find it in a format that does make for easy copying, I was led to this:

Alternative Unemployment Rates: Their Meaning and Their Measure March 12, 2014


[center]Past Performance is Not a Guarantee of Future Results.[/center]

Nonetheless, what is important is not this month's results, but the trend. Let’s look at some earlier numbers:

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in January 2017:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 246,000 Jobs in January

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in December 2016:

Payroll employment rises by 156,000 in December; unemployment rate changes little (4.7%)

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in December 2016:

Private hiring slows in December, jobs market still solid

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in November 2016:

Unemployment rate declines to 4.6% in November; payroll employment increases by 178,000

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in October 2016:

Payroll employment rises by 161,000 in October; unemployment rate changes little (4.9%)

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in September 2016:

Payroll employment increases by 156,000 in September; unemployment rate little changed...

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in August 2016:

Payroll employment increases by 151,000 in August; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in August 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 177,000 Jobs in August

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in July 2016:

Payroll employment increases by 255,000 in July; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in July 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 179,000 Jobs in July

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in June 2016:

Payroll employment increases by 287,000 in June; unemployment rate rises to 4.9%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in June 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 172,000 Jobs in June

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in May 2016:

Unemployment rate declines to 4.7% in May; payroll employment changes little (+38,000)

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in May 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 173,000 Jobs in May

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in April 2016:

Payroll employment increases by 160,000 in April; unemployment rate unchanged at 5.0%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in April 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 156,000 Jobs in April

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in March 2016:

Payroll employment rises by 215,000 in March; unemployment rate little changed at 5.0%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in March 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 156,000 Jobs in April

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in February 2016:

Payroll employment rises by 215,000 in March; unemployment rate little changed at 5.0%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in March 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 200,000 Jobs in March

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in February 2016:

Payroll employment rises by 242,000 in February; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9%

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in February 2016:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 214,000 Jobs in February


[center]Why Won't You Talk About the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR)?[/center]

Every month in certain circles, someone will cite the labor force participation rate as a cause for concern. Let's look at that right now.

[font color="red"]New material, added September 30, 2016:[/font]

September 2016

Labor force participation: what has happened since the peak?

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and older that is working or actively looking for work. It is an important labor market measure because it represents the relative amount of labor resources available for the production of goods and services. After rising for more than three decades, the overall labor force participation rate peaked in early 2000 and subsequently trended down. In recent years, the movement of the baby-boom population into age groups that generally exhibit low labor force participation has contributed to the decline in the overall participation rate. From 2000 to 2015, most of the major demographic groups saw a decrease in labor force participation. Teenagers experienced the largest drop in participation, which coincided with a rise in their school enrollment rate. Young adults 20 to 24 years also showed a decline in labor force participation, but the decrease was not as steep as that for teenagers. The labor force participation rate of women 25 to 54 years also fell, with the decrease more pronounced for women who did not attend college. The labor force participation rate of men 25 to 54 years continued its long-term decline. As in the past, the decrease in participation among men with less education was greater than that of men with more education. However, labor force participation rates of men and women 55 years and older rose from 2000 to 2009 and subsequently leveled off.

[font color="red"]New material, added July 31, 2016:[/font]

Title in the print edition of the Washington Post, page A17, Wednesday, July 27, 2016: "The unemployment-rate 'conspiracy' that isn't"

A popular conspiracy theory is spreading in the Trump family. It’s totally false.

By Matt O'Brien July 26
matthew.obrien@washpost.com
@ObsoleteDogma

The unemployment rate is not a conspiracy. It is not manipulated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And anyone who suggests otherwise is either uninformed, or trying to misinform others.

Which is to say that you shouldn't listen to Donald Trump & Co. For a year now, the alleged billionaire has insisted that the "real" unemployment rate is something like 42 percent instead of the 4.9 percent it actually is. He hasn't said how he's gotten this — maybe it's from the same "Link to tweet
" target="_blank">extremely credible source" who told him President Obama's birth certificate was fake? — but the simplest explanation is that he's just ballparking how many adults don't work. That's 40.4 percent right now. The problem with using that number, though, is that it counts college students and stay-at-home parents and retirees as being equally "unemployed" as people who are actively looking for work but can't find any. So it doesn't tell us too much, at least not on its own, unless you think it's a problem that we have more 70-year-olds than we used to.

Or unless conspiracy theories are one of your favorite accessories, as seems to be the case with the father, and now the son, Donald Trump Jr. On Sunday, he told CNN's Jake Tapper that the official unemployment numbers are "artificial" ones that are "massaged to make the existing economy look good" and "this administration look good."
....



Source: BLS

....
The boring truth is that the economy is in a lot better shape than it was when Obama took office, but that it could be in better shape still. The recovery, in other words, still has a ways to go. But that's a lot different from saying that we have 40 percent unemployment and that the government is trying to cover it up. That just suggests you don't understand — or don't want to accurately describe — how stats work and you don't know how to look up the ones you think the BLS is hiding. ... It's not what you'd expect from a major party presidential candidate.

[font color="red"]New material, added June 27, 2016:[/font]

Wonkblog

[link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/20/why-americas-men-arent-working/|
Why America’s men aren’t working]

By Ylan Q. Mui June 20

The national unemployment rate has fallen by more than half since the nation emerged from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It peaked at 10 percent in 2010 and stood at just 4.7 percent last month.

That’s mostly good news: Private employers have added more than 14 million jobs. About 2 million people have been out of a job for six months or longer, far too many but only about a quarter of the number of long-term unemployed people seven years ago. By almost every measure, the labor market has made incredible progress.

But there’s one statistic that has been vexing economists. The size of the nation’s workforce -- known as the labor force participation rate -- continues to fall. Since the start of the downturn, the percentage of that population that has a job or is looking for one has dropped more than 3 percentage points, to 62.6 percent, a level not seen since the 1970s.

{America’s jobs market has had a great 2016. Will it last?}

The problem is particularly pronounced among men between the ages of 25 and 54, traditionally considered the prime working years. Their participation rate has been declining for decades, but the drop-off accelerated during the recession. The high mark was 98 percent in 1954, and it now stands at 88 percent. A new analysis from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, slated for release Monday, found that the United States now has the third-lowest participation rate for “prime-age men” among the world’s developed countries.
....



....
People in prison are not counted as part of the population for the purposes of labor market statistics. At first blush, that would actually boost the participation rate: A smaller population means the share in the workforce is larger. But in reality, there are immense and well-documented barriers to the job market for workers once they leave prison. And the gloomy prospects of the formerly incarcerated outweigh the statistical benefit of having a large prison population.



....
Ylan Q. Mui is a financial reporter at The Washington Post covering the Federal Reserve and the economy. Follow @ylanmui

[font color="red"]New material, added January 2016:[/font] People who are not in the labor force: why aren't they working?

Beyond the Numbers

December 2015 | Vol. 4 / No. 15

EMPLOYMENT & UNEMPLOYMENT

People who are not in the labor force: why aren't they working?

By Steven F. Hipple

People who are neither working nor looking for work are counted as “not in the labor force,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2000, the percentage of people in this group has increased. Data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and its Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) provide some insight into why people are not in the labor force. The ASEC is conducted in the months of February through April and includes questions about work and other activities in the previous calendar year. For example, data collected in 2015 are for the 2014 calendar year, and data collected in 2005 are for the 2004 calendar year.1 In the ASEC, people who did not work at all in the previous year are asked to give the main reason they did not work. Interviewers categorize survey participants’ verbatim responses into the following categories: ill health or disabled; retired;2 home responsibilities; going to school; could not find work;3 and other reasons.

This Beyond the Numbers article examines data on those who were not in the labor force during 2004 and 2014 and the reasons they gave for not working. The data are limited to people who neither worked nor looked for work during the previous year.

This July 2014 report from the Council of Economic Advisers addresses the LFPR:

THE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE SINCE 2007: CAUSES AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS

(Hat tip, Adrahil: Look deeper.)

[font color="red"]New material:[/font] Here's a Power Point (or equivalent) presentation given by Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, before the National Press Club on August 6, 2015. If you go to the next-to-the-last slide, you'll see that the long-term projected trend is down:

"Trends in Labor Force Participation", 8/6/15

(Hat tip, progree: Over the past month, over the past year, and since February 2010)

[font color="red"]New material:[/font] Paul Vigna had a comment about the LFPR in the December 4, 2015, MoneyBeat column about the November figures:

8:55 am

Breaking down the participation rate
by Paul Vigna

Here’s what we mean when we talk about the participation rate and employment-population ratio.

There are 251.7 million people in the “civilian noninstitutional population,” according to the BLS (this is all contained in this chart). This is the number of people over age 16 who are not in jail or health-care facilities or the military.

Of that group, 157.3 million comprise the civilian labor force. The ratio of the second group to the first is 62.5%. This is the labor force participation rate, the number of people who could be in the labor force – either working or looking for a job – who are in the labor force.

There are 149.3 million people working. The ratio of that group to the overall civilian population is 59.3%. This the employment-population ratio, the number of people who could be working who actually are working.

Why do these number matter? Well, if you just looked at the raw data, you’d see the numbers rising, more or less, month after month. That’s not because the economy’s so rip-roaring, but because the number of people in the nation keeps rising. So you need the ratios to get a sense of how strong the labor force really is.

The labor-force participation rate remains near multi-decade lows, and whether that’s due to demographics, as in people retiring, or weak job opportunities, or whatever, it points to one sort of unavoidable problem: the economy cannot grow at its full potential if you simply don’t have enough people contributing.

Oh, and for the record, there are 94.4 million people not in the labor force.

[font color="red"]New material, added December 2015:[/font]

3:12 pm ET
Dec 8, 2015
economics

As America’s Workforce Ages, Here’s Where the Jobs Will Be

By Jeffrey Sparshott

Jeffrey.Sparshott@wsj.com
@jeffsparshott

The U.S. labor force is expected to expand only slowly over the coming decade as the country ages and more Americans give up on holding a job, a potential drag on broader economic growth.

The economy is expected to generate 9.8 million new jobs, a 6.5% increase, from 2014 to 2024, the Labor Department said in new projections released Tuesday. While steady, that is a historically slow pace. By comparison, 10-year job creation averaged almost 14% during the 2001-07 expansion and close to 17% during the 1990s.

The slowdown highlights declining participation as baby boomers retire and younger Americans opt out of the workforce. Those two trends are expected to continue to push the labor-force participation rate lower, to 60.9% in 2024 from 62.9% in 2014, Labor estimates. If realized, that would be the lowest level since 1973, when Richard Nixon was president.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen at a congressional hearing last week held out hope the participation rate would hold near current levels as people came off the sidelines and into jobs.


[center]Nattering Nabobs of Negativism[/center]

[font color="red"]New material, added February 26, 2016:[/font] More High-Wage Employment Doesn't Mean the Job Market's Out of the Woods

That's the print edition title.

Wonkblog

The recovery is generating more high-wage jobs — but does that matter?

The U.S. is still digging out of a big hole, and isn't creating new opportunities for those whose jobs disappeared.

By Lydia DePillis February 24

@lydiadepillis

A couple of weeks ago, some economists from Goldman Sachs came out with a rosy pronouncement: "Millions of new jobs and plenty of good ones," read the headline on a note to investors. High-wage employment appeared to pick up from 2013 to the present, a change from the early years of the economic recovery, which generated a disproportionate number of low-wage jobs.



And you don’t have to just take it from an investment bank. The Department of Labor has run its own numbers, and saw similar growth back in October, rendered in absolute numbers rather than growth rates (which Labor’s Chief Economist Heidi Shierholz says held through the end of 2015 in an analysis the department completed last week).

The green bars in the graph below show changes in actual employment, and the orange line shows what it would have been if the growth had been evenly distributed. Shierholz says the loss of low-wage jobs is likely a result of workers in those categories having their wages bumped up above $10 an hour, as the huge growth in low-wage sectors from 2009-2013 led to competition for people in restaurants and retail, or finding better jobs.



That renewed growth in high-wage jobs, which started to show up in 2014, is typical of recoveries from recessions: Low-wage retail and restaurant jobs come back first, as consumers start to buy small-ticket items and go out to eat again. Later on, the profitability trickles up, leading firms to make more expensive hires. Overall, the trend could be responsible for the small uptick in wages that's become evident in recent months, as well.

[font color="red"]Revised material:[/font] Here’s a grim thought:

Fed economists: America’s missing workers are not coming back

Wonkblog

By Max Ehrenfreund September 12 {2014}

A paper by Federal Reserve staff that will be discussed at the Brookings Institution on Friday {September 12, 2014} possibly hints at the central bank's thinking on interest rates and employment in advance of a consequential Fed meeting next week. The findings support [links:http://online.wsj.com/articles/fed-minutes-rate-hike-debate-heating-up-1408557628|hawks] on the Federal Open Market Committee, who feel that the Fed needs to prepare to raise rates sooner than expected, although the results are still being debated and might not persuade the committee's more dovish members.

The paper discusses the number of people who consider themselves part of the workforce -- including both people who have a job and those who are looking for work. It is a measure of the total manpower available in the U.S. economy. This number, the labor force participation rate, has been decreasing steadily since 2000. Americans who can't find work have been leaving the workforce, as have more and more retirees as the population ages.

Let’s follow that with another grim thought:

Why wage growth disparity tells the story of America's half-formed economic recovery

By Chico Harlan November 21, 2014

chico.harlan@washpost.com
@chicoharlan

....
With unemployment down to 5.8 percent, the country’s half-formed recovery is often described with a convenient shorthand: We have jobs but little wage growth. But stagnancy is just an average, and for many Americans, the years since the financial crisis have pushed them farther from the line, according to a detailed analysis of government labor statistics by The Washington Post.
....

Among the winners in this climate: Older workers, women and those with finance and technology jobs. ... Among the losers: Part-timers, the young, men, and those in the health, retail and food industries.
....

Chico Harlan covers personal economics as part of The Post's financial team.

Dissenters, take note:

A New Reason to Question the Official Unemployment Rate

David Leonhardt
AUG. 26, 2014

The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report has been the subject of some wacky conspiracy theories. None was wackier than the suggestion from Jack Welch, the former General Electric chief executive, that government statisticians were exaggerating job growth during President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Both Republican and Democratic economists dismissed those charges as silly.

But to call the people who compile the jobs report honest, nonpartisan civil servants is not to say that the jobs report is perfect. The report tries to estimate employment in a big country – and to do so quickly, to give policy makers, business executives and everyone else a sense of how the economy is performing. It’s a tough task.

And it has become tougher, because Americans are less willing to respond to surveys than they used to be.

A new academic paper suggests that the unemployment rate appears to have become less accurate over the last two decades, in part because of this rise in nonresponse. In particular, there seems to have been an increase in the number of people who once would have qualified as officially unemployed and today are considered out of the labor force, neither working nor looking for work.

[font color="red"]New material, added January 2016:[/font] From July 2013:

Mort Zuckerman: A Jobless Recovery Is a Phony Recovery

Commentary

Mort Zuckerman: A Jobless Recovery Is a Phony Recovery

More people have left the workforce than got a new job during the recovery—by a factor of nearly three.

By Mortimer Zuckerman
July 15, 2013 7:09 p.m. ET

In recent months, Americans have heard reports out of Washington and in the media that the economy is looking up—that recovery from the Great Recession is gathering steam. If only it were true. The longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been marked by the weakest recovery from any U.S. recession in that same period.

The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government's Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are "jobs." No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.

That's just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can't get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.

The 7.6% unemployment figure so common in headlines these days is utterly misleading. An estimated 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed; they are virtually invisible and mostly excluded from unemployment calculations that garner headlines.
....

Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.


[center]On the Road Again[/center]

The DOL Newsletter - October 6, 2011

DOL Data: There's an App for That
Have an iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone? Now you can access the latest labor data and news from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics and Employment and Training Administration in the palm of your hand. The latest free mobile app displays real-time updates to the unemployment rate, Unemployment Insurance initial claims, the Consumer Price Index, payroll employment, average hourly earnings, the Producer Price Index, the Employment Cost Index, productivity, the U.S. Import Price Index and the U.S. Export Price Index in real time, as they are published each week, month or quarter. News releases providing context for the data can also be accessed through the app and viewed within a mobile browser or as PDF documents.

US Labor Department launches economic and employment statistics app

Smartphone users gain mobile access to latest labor data and news

WASHINGTON — The most up-to-date employment data and economic news releases from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Employment and Training Administration now can be viewed using a new mobile application.
....

The new app is currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch as well as Android phones. The Labor Department is working to develop versions for BlackBerry and iPad devices. Visit https://m.dol.gov/apps/ to download this and other mobile apps.

Download the Data, Other Mobile Apps


[center]A Few More Things[/center]

[font color="red"]New material, added February 4, 2016:[/font] This article appeared as "Stocks vs. the Economy: Which Ruins Which?"on page C2 of the print edition of The Wall Street Journal. on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

Does the Economy Ruin the Stock Market or Does the Stock Market Ruin the Economy?

2:49 pm ET
Feb 1, 2016
Markets

By John Carney

Don’t confuse the market for the economy. Markets have overshot fundamentals. There are no signs of contagion into the real economy. ... Anyone paying attention has heard some version of these sentiments lately. Paul Samuelson’s famous quip that the market has predicted nine of the past five recessions is once again on the lips of the wise men and women of Wall Street.

But what if the stock market is more than just an indicator? What if a stock selloff can actually cause unemployment and recessions? ... That’s exactly what historical data on the stock market and the unemployment rate running back to 1929 seem to suggest. A persistent 10% decline in the stock market pushes unemployment up three percentage points.

That, at least, is the finding of University of California Los Angeles economist Roger Farmer. Currently a Distinguished Professor of Economics at UCLA and a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Mr. Farmer has been a fellow at the Bank of England and has won awards for his work on inefficiency in financial markets and self-fullfilling prophecies.

In a pair of academic papers written in the wake of the financial crisis, the first published in 2012 and the second published this year, Mr. Farmer has argued that changes in the value of the stock market cause changes in the unemployment rate. The idea will be expanded upon in Mr. Farmer’s forthcoming book, Prosperity for All.

[font color="red"]Moved here, February 6, 2016:[/font] The Federal Reserve looks at, among many other things, the BLS employment reports when it decides what to do with "the interest rate." The interest rate in question is the federal funds target rate. Here is some information about that:

Federal funds rate

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

Meet FRED, every wonk’s secret weapon

StorylineMeet the wonks

By Todd C. Frankel August 1, 2014

FRED stands for Federal Reserve Economic Data. It serves as an online clearinghouse for a wealth of numbers: unemployment rates, prices of goods, GDP and CPI, things common and obscure. Today, FRED is more than a little bit famous, thanks to the public’s fascination with economic data.

Federal Reserve Economic Data

So how many jobs must be created every month to have an effect on the unemployment rate? There's an app for that:

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jobs Calculator™

(Note new link for Jobs Calculator™. Hat tip, progree.)

Monthly Employment Reports from BLS

The U.S. Department of Commerce releases economic data too. Some of its releases come from the U.S. Census Bureau:

U.S. Census Bureau Latest News

U.S. Census Bureau Economic Indicators

Other Department of Commerce releases come from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Bureau of Economic Analysis

For people who need a daily fix:

BLS-Labor Statistics Twitter feed

Read tomorrow's news before it happens. Here's the schedule for all economic reports:

MarketWatch Economic Calendar

and for BLS reports only:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Release Calendar

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 01:58 PM

8. Three Pay-per-view articles at TWSJ. and one that isn't.

Last edited Tue Feb 7, 2017, 12:18 PM - Edit history (3)

Higher Jobless Rate Suggests Economy Has Room to Run

Unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% amid an increase in the share of Americans working or actively seeking work

By Josh Mitchell

joshua.mitchell@wsj.com
@JMitchellWSJ

Updated Feb. 3, 2017 11:00 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Despite brisk hiring, the U.S. unemployment rate rose in January and workers’ wages grew modestly.

The steady but unspectacular labor market is likely to keep the Federal Reserve cautious about raising short-term interest rates in the months ahead and could prevent it from colliding with Donald Trump’s....

Five Things Donald Trump Said About the Jobs Report Before He Was President

He has weighed in on payrolls misses, the 'real' unemployment rate and workforce participation

By Ben Leubsdorf and Eric Morath

ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com
@BenLeubsdorf

Eric.Morath@wsj.com
@EricMorath

Feb 2, 2017 11:57 am ET

Donald Trump, a critic of the official unemployment rate on the campaign trail, gets his first jobs report as president from the Labor Department on Friday. How Mr. Trump will react to the January numbers is anyone’s guess. But as a private citizen, Mr. Trump was a vocal skeptic of some economic data, rhetoric he ratcheted up during {…}

ETA Tuesday, 11:13 a.m.:

Minimum-Wage Increases May Deliver the Best Wage Growth In Eight Years

Hourly pay may increase 0.3% in January as result of minimum-wage changes in 19 states, J.P. Morgan says

By Eric Morath

Eric.Morath@wsj.com
@EricMorath

Feb 2, 2017 9:45 am ET

A wave of minimum-wage increases to start the year could mean Friday’s jobs will show hourly earnings growth reached a new postrecession peak in January. Millions of workers earning at or near the minimum wage received a mandated raise in 19 states in their first January paychecks–ranging from a $1.95 an hour increase in Arizona....

This one's free:

5 Things to Watch in the January Jobs Report

The U.S. government on Friday releases its first major snapshot of the labor market of 2017. The January jobs report will also be the first under President Donald Trump, who has criticized the official unemployment rate. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast a gain of 174,000 jobs in January and that the unemployment rate remained 4.7%.

2 Feb 2017 1:36 pm by Josh Mitchell

joshua.mitchell@wsj.com
@JMitchellWSJ

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 04:00 PM

10. Didn't get chance to check in

Had checked at 8:32 and I think you were still working on it and hadn't posted and then I got caught up at work all day.... because as of today, I will be out of the labor force! Retirement here I come!

That was a big downward revision for November.

Thanks for the monthly post on the borrowed computer!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 04:18 PM

11. Well, congratulations.

One of the people who have been here from the start retired on January 31. I hope Chaffetz doesn't loot your retirement funds.

I knew you'd be here, but the tragedy of Bowling Green has affected us all.

Stay strong.

(checking November -- oh, 40,000.)

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 3, 2017, 07:12 PM

12. Thanks

Retired fed and I expect they will make an attempt to raid every dime. With Bannon in there, I also expect some Reagan-esque "you're fired" moments across the federal force, but this time, not against anyone who might be on strike and despite the fact that the law forbids it in almost all cases (except those who are still under probation and any not law-abiding... unless they are GOP).

Damn those pesky laws!

And yes, Bowling Green should be remembered by all... well except for those not living in an alternate universe.

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