Economic Reality: Unemployment and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

In early July, I rolled out an “economic reality” index to provide a sober summary of the economic trials and tribulations facing millions of Americans even as those of us with trades and investments in the stock market enjoy the largesse of monetary and fiscal stimulus. I am now putting the chart comparing continuing claims … Read more

Why American Manufacturing Jobs Will Prove VERY Hard to Win Back

President-elect Donald Trump made a strong promise to bring back jobs to the U.S. from overseas. Manufacturing employment was a particular showcase in this campaign pledge. There are a lot of reasons to believe that a to return jobs to the U.S. will be extremely hard to accomplish. I am particularly struck by the data … Read more

A Policy Island for the Fed: The Bank of England and U.S. Economic Data Isolate the Fed

This past week was an important one for monetary policy. The Bank of England (BoE) made clear it is willing to put off rate hikes as long as necessary. Despite its words that suggest otherwise, the Bank is NOT biased for action. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made it clear that, all else being … Read more

The Bad and the Good News In the Housing Market’s Worsening Labor Shortage

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on November 10, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) The bursting of the housing bubble destroyed the supply chain at several critical junctures. For example, employment in the industry collapsed. While the overall unemployment rate in the industry has returned … Read more

A Second Extremely Strong Month for Canadian Jobs Chases Away My Bearish Bias

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on November 9, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) Suddenly, prospects for the Canadian dollar (FXC) are presumably improving with unemployment making a dramatic turnaround over the last two months. September’s good news was drowned out by October’s sharp sell-off … Read more

Residential Employment Plows Ahead As Housing Indicators Stabilize

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on May 5, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) The latest U.S. non-farm employment report showed another strong print for employment in residential construction. For the 31st month in a row, seasonally adjusted employment in residential construction showed year-over-year growth. … Read more

Continued Momentum in Residential Construction Employment Doesn’t Stop Slide in Home Builder Shares

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on March 11, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) After employment in residential construction put on a surprisingly strong showing amidst a generally dismal January employment report, I decided to keep closer tabs on this important indicator of health in … Read more

January Jobs Report Positives: Residential Construction Momentum and the Participation Rate

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on Feb 10, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) The U.S. non-farm labor report for January, 2014 seemed to get universal disapproval. Yet, the stock market soared in response anyway. The bearish tidings that began last week week have almost … Read more

Poor Jobs Report Breaks Down Australian Dollar But Is THIS the Trough?

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on January 13, 2014. Click here to read the entire piece.) The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported a loss of 22,600 jobs for December, 2013 while consensus expectations were for a GAIN of 10,000 jobs. The economy lost 31,600 full-time jobs … Read more