Friday, September 07, 2012
Without Ice Cream
The good news is that the Chief's date with destiny went very well. Unfortunately, the employment report is kind of the inverse of the Chief Metal Heart No-Nag report.
Thanks for the comments on the employment report. It's hard to do justice to the sheer ugliness of this thing with just words, isn't it? The ugliness has such depth that there are always little nuggets of detailed disgustingness hidden in each new segment, or so it seems to my weary eyes.
Stats like this:
Household - June to July jobs loss 314,000.
Household - August 2011 less than five weeks unemployed was 110K LESS than August 2012's number????
Household, selected unemployment indicators - women who maintain households 12.3% in August, which is yes, worse than August 2011, and has risen 2.1% since April.
An awful lot of these indicators have worsened since June.
And what about the lower-level indicators in the Establishment survey? Last year the diffusion index for private industries was 57.3. This month it fell down to 50.2 from 54.3 last month. That is neutral. The manufacturing diffusion index was 50.0 last August - exactly neutral. Remember, we were still suffering some from the Japanese 3/11 disaster. This month it fell to 36.4 from 50.6 last month. Temporary help employment dropped, confirming months of declines in that stat.
The emp/pop ratio is 58.3, right where it was last August. Unfortunately, the ratio has fallen from 58.6 in June to this 58.3 we have right now, so that is not exactly encouraging, is it?
Directional indicators look flat at best with the rolling three-month trend distinctly in the "Yuck" band, and prior months' figures were revised down.
Fiscally, the Household survey presents us with the deeply unpleasant picture of ever-escalating deficits, because over the past year the number of employed people has risen by 2.35 million, whereas the number of those not in the labor force has risen by 2.72 million. We added .58 million this last month. The Establishment survey shows a total non-farm YoY growth of under 2 million.
This getting old stuff is no fun.
The good news is that the Chief's date with destiny went very well.
Unfortunately, the employment report is kind of the inverse of the Chief Metal Heart No-Nag report.
And there you are, right between the two extremes. This is actually the premise of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.
He orders the opposite of his normal lunch, and he introduces himself to a beautiful woman (played by Dedee Pfeiffer) who happens to order exactly the same lunch, saying, "My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents." To his surprise, she is impressed and agrees to date him.
Perhaps our country just needs more of that, lol. Sigh.
I love milkshakes.
As a substitute for that craving, I started drinking Ensure.
As of a month ago (age 48), I finally discovered the miracle of adding a frozen banana to the mix (well blended).
It's become my first meal of the day. It is extremely gentle on my stomach and fully satisfies my shake craving.
I can't say it is the perfect meal, but I could probably be doing worse.
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