Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Job Growth “Statistically Significant”

Those 10,200 new jobs mentioned yesterday as appearing between January 2014 and January 2015 were not seasonally adjusted. I forgot to mention that. I also forgot to say that between December and January, the seasonally unadjusted figures show a loss of 16,500 jobs. That’s a lot. Not explanation from DWS.
In its release yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed New Mexico’s 12,900 seasonally adjusted new jobs, year over year, as being statistically significant, that means the jobs are real, maybe. The seasonally adjusted change between December and January was an increase of 1,500, a shift of 18,000 from the unadjusted figure, or, quite an adjustment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Statistical Shuffle Improves Job Picture

Everything that was said about job performance and non-performance in New Mexico was wrong. Or at least all that stuff about months and months of job losses is out of date now. That’s because the federal Bureau of Labors Statistics and New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions changes the rules once each year.
DWS in its March 17 release “explained” the changes this way. “Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics realigns the sample-based estimates of the CES survey to incorporate universe counts of employment—a process known as benchmarking.”
As an example of the changes, readers may remember the year over year changes in the finance sector of well over 1,000 jobs. When this “growth” was reported each month, the report here came with skeptical note. The problem, as I see it, is that the sector is too small to support such growth without something radical happening such as a new and large employer. For sure, banks, the largest employer in finance, aren’t adding people except to do Dodd-Frank required compliance.
Guess what, guys, with the bench newly marked, as it were, the finance sector showed a gain of 300 jobs, or less than one percent, between January 2014 and January 2015.
The new numbers show professional and business services, considered a key proxy for national laboratory activity, showed 1,700 new jobs, year over year. Education and health services led the sector pack with 4,700 new jobs, or 3.7%, which was about 39% an (unlikely to me) of the year’s total job gain of 10,200 jobs.
Government dropped 1,200 jobs, 500 from the feds and 600 from local government. State government, buoyed by 1,100 new education jobs (in universities), lost just 100.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Clinton Email Logistics Are Confusing

I do not understand the logistics of the emails. Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State for approximately 1,461 days (the years 2010, 2011, 2012 plus ten months of 2009 and two months of 2013). The 31,830 private emails averaged 21.8/day, plus nearly that many for business. Call it 40 total/day. Assume Mrs. Clinton sleeps four hours/day, leaving 20 hours for everything else including emails (at an average of two emails/hour all day every day) and meetings with foreign ministers. Some of the business emails would have been complicated and would have required some thought and some time—multiple drafts and staff debate—in creating the reply. To be sure, threads with multiple emails would account for some of the total, but how many? I presume that Mrs. Clinton was not the person at the keyboard entering the reply. (Does she type?)
From my perch in the wilds of New Mexico, it appears that she had to have some help in managing this process. How did that work? What was the decision process with regard to eliminating the personal emails? Highlight all and hit delete?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Abq Homes Sales Up 17 During February.

Pending sales provided the only news for February sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque. February saw 921 homes move into the pending sales category, a 66 unit, or 8% increase from January. The performance beat February 2014 by 128 units or 16%.
The only other February happening was the sale of homes closing at a 2.5 home/day faster pace than during January. February sales averaged 19.8 homes/day as compared to January’s 17.3 homes/day. This daily activity meant that 554 homes closed during February, which was three days shorter than January, beat January by 17 homes or 3%.
The February 2015 homes closed performance of 554 homes edged January by four homes or 0.73%.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the February sales report today.
No only did more homes sell each day during February, they sold faster. Homes sold during January were on the market an average of 81 days. During February, homes took an average of 71 days to sell.
Nothing much happened to home prices during February.
The little that happened to prices during February happened to average prices which dropped 2.1% from January to $199,196. This was up $713 from February 2014. Median prices were $195,000, the same and February 2014 and down $500 from January 2015.
During January there were 855 sales pending. Almost two-thirds (65%) turned into closed sales during February. Some months show up to 89% of pending sales turning into closed sales.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Energy:The Dallas Fed View

From the Beige Book of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Released March 4. See

"Demand for oilfield services fell sharply in the Eleventh District. Declines were concentrated in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford regions, and contacts reported a pullback in both horizontal and traditional vertical drilling. Outlooks remain pessimistic and uncertain, with firms expecting a roughly 30 percent decline in capital expenditures this year."