three charts (and numerous commentaries) over the past two months that
suggested the U.S. labor market (and the economy more generally) is in worse
shape than many on Wall Street, in Washington, and in the media would have us
In "Not So
Encouraging," I highlighted the fact that
relatively sharp deceleration in the rate of productivity growth -- like
we've seen recently -- has, except on two occasions over the past five
decades, preceded or been associated with a slowdown in the pace of hiring.
Reality," I posited that
only two explanations for the incredible divergence we've seen in recent
years. Either 1) the payroll data or sentiment readings are highly suspect
(as to which is more likely, I would note that only the former is compiled by
the U.S. government); or, 2) the quality of the jobs that many people have
nowadays is significantly less than it was before the recession
Equals Weak," I noted that
decades of data suggest ("unexpectedly") weak durable goods orders
will soon translate into ("unexpectedly") weak employment
And yet, despite these and other warning signs, economists were once again surprised by
data -- namely, this morning's jobs report -- that was anything but robust.
Tell me again:
why are they considered the "experts"?
Michael J. Panzner