Nonfarm Payrolls: +112,000 Jobs
Non farm payrolls in November grew a measely 112,000 jobs -- far below the consensus of 200,000 Wall Street Economists were expecting.
October's data, an aberrant 337,000 jobs, were adjusted downwards to 303,000. The huge lift that month was incontrovertably caused by the four Gulf of Mexico hurricaines. In addition to recontruction and repairs after the storms, some hiring in September got displace forward a month by the weather disruption.
September's numbers were also revised downwards.
I continue to be astounded by the many economists who insist on maintaining the myth that the Household Survey is more accurate than the Establishment Survey. They reveal their complete lack of integrity by only trotting out the Household survey numbers when it suits their evil purposes. This group of seers (also referred to by their genus, econimus weaselus) were stunningly silent on the Household Survey data last month, when the October data showed a drop in Household employment by some 367,000 workers.
Indeed, some commentators have taken the art of "selective data" into the realm of farce. Consider this statement from a research house (quoted in Barrons) Friday:
"The payroll job survey is frequently significantly at odds with the Household Survey and the difference has seldom been wider than this month."
Seldom wider? Absurd.
A quick calculation reveals how ludicrous this is: November Establishment (+112k) versus Household (+439k) show a disparity of 327k, supporting the commentator's bullish macro economic thesis.
That sounds like a significant difference -- until one looks at October's data. Establishment (+337k) versus Household (-367k) revealed a disparity of 704,000. Not only is that more than double the previous disparity, the two surveys (which measure very different things) were trending in opposite directions.
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: NOVEMBER 2004
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
December 03, 2004
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As someone who argues that a very powerful drift in rightwing economics is a radical and dangerous reformation that blanks out reality in the same way as communism; I really have to defend them from "this lack of integrity."
Not that they don't distort reality, but the social forces are very powerful, people literally get hypnotized. For example I skimmed the blog of this Kudlow fellow. There was a lot I could agree with in and if I remember correctly he even seemed to accept the possibility of a falling dollar.
But get him into the context of National Review, in the filter of his ideology and reality changes. He isn't lying, in a sense he become a different person in the way a kind family man can be an evil boss or vice versa.
It is really hard for me to describe this but within the realms of a "group mind" people change, they literally can't see. We can't underestimate our capacity for reality distortion, to totally not see some things and to distort others.
IMO this is a "primary" fact we need to keep availible to analyze our opinions, but it is slippery. Mention this to people and many will say, "of course it's obvious," minimize it's importance ("obvious" is a key indicator something is important) and be acutely aware of this feature in the opposition, but not even see it in themselves or their friends even though they say they recognize. It's astounding the degree this can occur and people's ability to ignore cordial well stated summations of facts. One aspect of this is Dombrowski's "the messenger is the message."
On the left you see it in Krugman. In many cases it's not a lack of integrity, it's sincere. Go to Yahoo discussion groups on stocks to view it in another context. These people literally don't see. And as with stocks during the bubble, political factors in the last few years have encouraged such manias.
However they also tend to pop. Since the liberal economic formulation currently tends towards the conservative (in the sense of mantaining the system) and the reactive; the coming crash of rightist assumptions may open the way for different activist models.
Posted by: David Bennett | Dec 4, 2004 2:38:43 PM
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