Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 3:03 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.


[The employment figures] were borrowed from earlier reporting, where the BLS does not have to report the revisions, at present.  Likely aimed at distracting the markets from the unexpected 0.2% jump in the unemployment rate.  Here is what I wrote earlier on my homepage.  Please call if you have any questions:

LATEST ECONOMIC RELEASES: (Jan 4) December 2018 Employment and Unemployment, and Payrolls (Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS)

Surging December payrolls were a reporting fraud, a canard, no more than massive prior-period revisions “recalculation of seasonal factors” that shifted growth from past months into the October 2018 to December 2018 timeframe, without showing the headline downside revisions to the earlier months from which the growth was borrowed.

Unadjusted October and November payroll numbers revised negligibly higher, while the seasonally adjusted data revised sharply higher and surged further in December.  The not credible headline December jobs gain of 312,000, was a nonsensical 370,000 net of prior-period revisions.

The effective reporting fraud and standard gimmick here is that previously reported data, back more than two months (before October) from which much of current headline growth was borrowed, are not reported as revised with the current headline data.  That revised reporting is seen only with the annual benchmark revision, which will not be published until next month (this reporting gimmick is reviewed regularly by ShadowStats, as last detailed in Commentary No. 979, Supplemental Detail).

December U.3 Unemployment jumped to 3.86% (headline 3.9%), from a revised 3.70%, previously 3.67% (headline 3.7% in both cases), versus a revised headline 3.8% (3.76%), previously 3.7% (3.74%) in October, in the context of annual revisions to the seasonally adjusted Household Survey (unemployment/employment) data.  The broader U.6 rate held at 7.59% in December, versus a revised 7.58% (previously 7.57%) in November and an upwardly revised 7.5% (7.45%), previously 7.4% (7.40%) in October.

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment rate, which counts the long-term displaced and discouraged workers not accounted for by the government (discouraged workers disappear from the rolls after one year), held at 21.4% in December versus an upwardly revised 21.4% (previously 21.3%) in November.  Detail has been graphed on the Alternate Data Tab.  Five years of revised hard data are available there to subscribers.

Best regards,


– FOMC-Driven Consumer Slowdown Signals Onset of a New Recession, as Nominal Monetary Base Drops to a Five-Year Low
– Effects of Ongoing Federal Reserve Tightening Increasingly Have Pummeled Real Retail Sales, Production and Construction Activity
– Intensifying Consumer-Liquidity Squeeze Reflected in Downside Revisions to Previously Estimated Auto Sales, Housing and Third-Quarter GDP
– Third-Quarter 2018 Final Sales (GDP Net of an Increasing Inventory Buildup) Slowed to a Revised 1.03% (Initially 1.43%) from a Second-Quarter 5.33%
– Annual Growth in November Freight Activity Plunged to a Two-Year Low
– November 2018 Residential Construction and Sales Continued in Deepening Downtrends, Well Shy of Ever Recovering Pre-Recession Highs
– November Manufacturing in Record 131st Straight Month of Non-Expansion, Still Shy by 4.7% (-4.7%) of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak; Unlike Anything Ever Seen in the 100-Year History of the Production Series
– 2008 Banking-System Insolvency Arose Under the Watchful Eye of the Banking-System-Owned Federal Reserve
– Subsequent FOMC Actions in the Last Decade Centered on Propping the Banks, Not on Restoring a Healthy Economy
– Stock Market Turmoil Has Begun to Respond to the Intensifying Effects of Financial-System Distortions and Instabilities

“No. 981: Retail Sales, Production, New Orders, Residential Construction, GDP and Stocks