Today’s Employment chart madness from Ron Griess of the Chart Store.

Click to enlarge:






More charts after the jump















Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Employment, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “Employment Chart Palooza”

  1. mark says:

    I’d really like to stop being a permabear (really I would) but what jumps out at me are the last few charts on wages and their annual rates of change (ROC). That last little uptick in the real wage ROC is better but the ROC in nominal wages remains in a downtrend so it is hard to see the uptrend in the real wage ROC continuing.

  2. Frilton Miedman says:

    Mark, absolutely correct to be concerned with wage growth.

    The “Texas miracle” blog (regarding Rick Perry’s performance as TX governor) clarified this point, we can get to 1% unemployment, but it matters little if college grads are working at SBUX for little over minimum wage while they wait for a job opening in their field that has been filled by a Chinese worker at 5% the wages an American requires, and the Chinese guy got his college paid for by his government – he’s tuition free.

    Meanwhile – Apple, for example, has a total workforce of 743,000 with only 43,000 American workers, they paid a “job creating” 24% in 2010 tax rates on roughly ~ 30% of their earnings ~ from profits inside the U.S. but only hire 6% of it’s employee’s in America, they also hold about 5% of the total $2 trillion in cash we constantly hear corporations have been hoarding offshore.

    I use Apple as an example because they pay one of the larger proportionate tax rates than most multinationals in terms of “jobs created” vs taxes paid.

  3. teraflop says:

    Likely unmeasured in private payroll count is gangs, according to surveys we probably have close to 1MM people employed but not reported.

    Plus a prison population of approximately 1.4MM (

    Plus professional criminals (earning 100% of comp from unreported sources), I don’t find any metrics but it probably regresses in some statistically-significant way to marginal changes in gang population.

    Plus people working illegally who are not in gangs and engaged in legal work (typically transient and/or manual labor). Minimum every adult male + 1/2 adult females: 7.3MM, reduced by any overlap with categories above.

    Conclusion: total shadow economy participants is in the millions. Untaxed, uncounted. But displacing non-shadow participants all the same.

  4. biscuits says:

    Second chart, SA/NSA Ratio in Total Nonfarm Payrolls for the month of January states that

    “Had the average seasonal adjustment factor for all January’s since 1939 of 101.49% been used instead of 101.65% the January number would have been 205,000 less”

    Hussman discusses the SA, saying the jobs number is “most likely a statistical artifact of the adjustment process”. He is being too kind, I think, in discounting “nefarious” purposes. Not sure nefarious is the right word, maybe cheerleaders looking to boost consumer confidence.

    “Notably, the January 2011 and 2012 seasonal adjustment factors ( seasonally adjusted payrolls divided by unadjusted payrolls) have been the two largest factors used by the BLS since the 1960′s, at 1.0166 and 1.0165, respectively. This compares with a January seasonal factor of 1.0155 a decade ago, and a factor of 1.0152 as recently as 2009. Now, a range of 0.0014 in the seasonal factors for January may not seem like much, until you consider that non-seasonally adjusted payrolls are presently about 130 million jobs, so variation in the seasonal adjustment factor alone amounts to a difference of 182,000 reported jobs. I’m not suggesting there’s anything nefarious going on here, it’s just that part of what we’re seeing here is most likely a statistical artifact of the adjustment process.”

  5. SilverOz says:


    Hussman is being VERY selective here, as the seasonal adjustments for 04-08 were: 1.016, 1.0163, 1.0165, 1.0165, and 1.0165. So it isn’t like this month was out of the ordinary for the recent past. So he picks 09 since it stands out (hmmm wasn’t that also at the depths of the recession), but ignores the 04-08 data that refutes his point.

    And Hussman is talking is book, as the seasonal adjustment for January has grown over time (you know as Christmas has gotten bigger and we have become more consumption oriented). One would expect to see larger seasonal shifts as we become more consumption oriented and as Christmas becomes a bigger percentage of retailers business.

  6. taylorhr says:

    If unemployment is truly at 8.26% or so, then aren’t we at about the “new normal” of normal unemployment? What I mean by that is that in the past 5 years, businesses have obviously laid off a good bit of their employees. As a result, they’ve learned how to do things more efficiently and how to outsource better as well. With the old standard normal unemployment seen as 5-6%, going forward, doesn’t it made sense that we will have a new normal unemployment (that we are getting close to)? What do you think?

  7. dougc says:

    It’s almost like arguing how many angels can we find on the head of a pin.

  8. biscuits says:

    Christmas becomes “a bigger percentage of retailer’s business”? Based on what? Holiday spending as a percentage of total spending has been dipped over the last 15+ years.

    “the seasonal adjustment for January has grown over time (you know as Christmas has gotten bigger and we have become more consumption oriented). One would expect to see larger seasonal shifts as we become more consumption oriented and as Christmas becomes a bigger percentage of retailers business.”

  9. cognos says:

    This analysis is super silly.

    Every recovery is doubted… every step of the way.

    Bet these guys were all doubters in June of 2009.


  10. constantnormal says:

    Here’s one more employment chart for your Rogues’ Gallery … I had about all I could take of the incessant yammering about the “blowout” numbers for January, so I went to FRED, pulled up the employment data with the most history — didn’t matter to me whether it was SA or NSA — and had FRED draw a chart showing the sequential changes in the employment data …

    Yes, it was a nice change … no, it was not a huge increase, and was far less than many other “recovery months”, that were “recovering” from far smaller recessions. If, through some miracle, we avoid anohter recession, around 2014 we should be as far “recovered” as we’re going to be, at least until our housing problems are behind us … and that will be with huge numbers of permanently unemployed who will be acting as a drag on our economy.

    The BIG change was vis-a-vis expectations, not against reality…

  11. constantnormal says:

    Whoops, I see you already had this chart … middle of the 6th graphic in the series …

    Nevermind …

  12. tagyoureit says:

    The new normal is 10 to 12 million unemployed, the rest is just fiddling with the denominator.

    All we need to do is grow the employed labor force to 200 million. Presto! 5% unemployment. :P

  13. Certified says:

    What are the Farm payroll numbers, please?