"It looks like the U.S. economy is now dominated by housing, shopping,
eating and drinking (with some help from very expensive health care).
These don’t look like core productive sectors," our dynamic duo
comments. But they add, "We’ll take it for now." Which in some ways
demonstrates just how low expectations for employment have sunk, thanks
to long years of straggly recovery.
Abelson notes that NFP "was good, [b]ut, alas, it was still a sizable piece from great." Further, he takes up another subject readers of this blog should be all too familiar with: the misleadlingly low unemployment rate and the declining labor participation rate.
"A more comprehensive — and we feel more accurate — reading suggests the real jobless rate is 6%, not 5%. And if you include everyone who should be working full time but isn’t, the rate approaches 9%."
I do not recall ever seeing this seriously discussed in any mainstream media prior. (Please disavuseme of this notion if you have links proving otherwise).
"Our friends at the Liscio Report, Philippa Dunne and Doug Henwood, concur that while solidly positive, July’s showing didn’t smack of "boomtime." They note the largest contributor by sector was retailing, up 50,000 jobs, paced by car dealerships (nothing like giving away cars to attract a crowd), clothing and department stores. Health care again came through with 29,00 new jobs, and bars and restaurants, which have been responsible for one of every eight slots added this year (we’ll drink to that), swelled last month’s payrolls by 30,000. Housing, directly or indirectly, chipped in another slug.
To Philippa and Doug, the job data, while a pleasant surprise, failed to erase their long-term concerns. For one thing, the gain was still below the 50-year average. They also found somewhat worrying that over the last year "construction, health care, retail trade and eating and drinking establishments" have contributed nearly half the jobs added, even though these sectors account for just a third of total employment."
This is a perfect example of data that is not fabricated, but merely misleading.
Ours is an anemic post-bubble recovery, not organic but rather artificially stimulated by every possible mechanism at the government’s disposal. It is not healthy. It is not natural. And its "coming around the clubhouse turn" . . .
UP AND DOWN WALL STREET
By ALAN ABELSON
One of the more interesting items we’ve discussed has been the different pricing strategies that studios use with DVDs versus what the labels do with CDs.
The studios, to their credit, use a form of dynamic pricing — they intelligently recognize that a content item’s value is highest when first released, and then subsequently fades. That’s why DVD prices come down over time, to capture those marginal buyers. The consumers who will not pay $49.99 for Seinfeld Season 1 & 2, might pay $29.99.
The labels have mostly avoided this strategy — but perhaps that’s changing. I had just finished reading a post about Amazon’s conference call, and on it Amazon’s management discussed their Long Tail strategy. I went over to the site, and thru some random clicking and scrolling, noticed this little tidbit: a long list of interesting CDs for sale on Amazon for between $6 and $10:
Here’s my short list of favorite moderate priced CDs off of the Amazon sale:
Jack Johnson : Brushfire Fairytales – another great one — grab it.
Stripped — an under appreciated stone album
Tattoo You the same — kicked off the modern Stones, and it rocks
It’s Only Rock N Roll classic
James Brown – 20 All-Time Greatest Hits! If you you don’t have the 4 CD set, go with this
Bruce Springsteen – Greatest Hits I prefer the individual CDs, but if you want a full dose of Bruce in one shot, this is it.
Wish You Were Here I have the full box set, but after Dark Side of the Moon, this is it.
Motown an interesting twist on Motown
Fashion Nugget Killer album that introduced me to the band:
"He’s going the Distance, he’s going for speed . . ."