Birth/Death model

You Can't Blame The Economy On The Weather

The pathetic jobs report has ushered in a whole new blame game on the weather. January through March 2012 had the warmest temperatures on record for the United States.

Most economic data, including the employment report, is seasonally adjusted. The algorithm is called X-12-ARIMA and is maintained by the Census. Without going into the mathematics, this algorithm takes past cyclical patterns that are predictable and adjusts those spikes, attributed to the seasons. The algorithm takes out of an economic data series those wild swings, so one can more easily compare real growth instead of, say, fall harvesting or Christmas hiring. Construction employment, for example, is highly cyclical due to the nature of the work. Below is a graph of not seasonally adjusted construction employment.

construction nsa

Some Ridiculous Statistics At A Glance

Welcome to the concentrated boiling up of economic graph-o-rama absurdity and horror in number form. Every week, economic data pours in and some damning statistics go flying by with nary a nod.


Financial Crime Prosecutions

Syracuse University, through their Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, analyzed Justice department data. They found the number of prosecutions for financial fraud is dramatically down, 28.6%, from just five years ago.

Jobs ... Really?

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with its jobs numbers for April:

Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in April (-20,000), following job losses that totaled 240,000 in the first 3 months of the year, the bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, also was little changed in April. Employment continued to decline in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade, while jobs were added in health care and in professional and technical services.