A few of Friday’s headlines set me off…
“July’s strong jobs report puts the Federal Reserve on track to slow its bond purchases.”
“Unemployment rate drops to 5.4%, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
“President resists temptation to take a victory lap Friday following the release of strong jobs numbers.”
Give me a break (please)!
I think that of all the Holidays we celebrate throughout the year, Labor Day is the least understood. For instance, on the 4th of July we celebrate Independence Day. Everyone sort of knows the story. Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Memorial Day we acknowledge the fine servicemen and women who died defending our Nation. Most seem to know of all this.
But when it comes to Labor Day, I find an awful lot of folks, don’t quite know what it is they’re celebrating. So let’s take just a few minutes to remember what this is all about.
We live in a world where nothing is as it seems. The things we are told on a daily basis, are either lies, distortions, distractions, or misdirection. Of course it’s always for an agenda. Our job so to speak, is to figure out what that agenda is, and often times, it’s not nearly as easy as you’d think.
I think this has been true for decades, but in the past they did their best to at least make it plausible. Don’t forget that 40 - 50 years ago, people really only had TV, Radio and the local newspaper to try and push what ever the agenda was. People were also “smarter” in a sense, and not as easily conned.
That last sentence was not hyperbole its simply fact. If you went back 50 years and asked a first year college student who the first President of the US was, they’d instantly know the answer. Or maybe ask, which President is on the 20 dollar bill? They’d know. They might be able to tell you about his life.
But today, there’s hundreds of videos, where people will go around with a microphone and ask these very basic questions to people on the street, and it’s absolutely stunning to hear some of the answers given. They have no clue, and I find it disturbing frankly.
CEO sentiment among the largest companies in the U.S. has fallen for the fourth straight quarter this year.
Yet, those economic jitters have not sent CEO confidence jumping out of their high-rise offices.
In fact, Axios’ Courtenay Brown and Neil Irwin say their hiring and capital spending plans “are more consistent with growth slowdown than outright economic contraction” (aka recession).
The latest CEO economic outlook index from the Business Roundtable fell by 11 points to 73, continuing the gradual but steady slide that began in early 2022.
A look back shows that it's the first time since the pandemic was declared in 2020 that the index has fallen below its long-run average of 84.
Brown and Irwin note, however, that the current level “reflects a soft patch, but not a full-blown U.S. recession, like the Eurozone crisis in 2012 and a period of global economic softening in late 2015.”
Eternal optimist Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she sees a path for avoiding a recession, with inflation down significantly and the economy remaining strong, given a strong jobs market.
"You don't have a recession when you have 500,000 jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years," Yellen exclaimed.
"What I see is a path in which inflation is declining significantly and the economy is remaining strong."
Of course, being the team player she is, Yellen said inflation remains too high.
But she believes it could fall a lot more because of action taken by the Biden administration, including steps to reduce the cost of gasoline and prescription drugs.
Labor Department data out last Friday showed job growth jumped up steeply in January – nonfarm payrolls leaped by 517,000 jobs and the headline unemployment rate dropped to a 53-and-a-half-year low of 3.4%.
The strength in hiring, despite growing layoffs in tech, overnight reduced investor expectations that the Federal Reserve was close to pausing its cycle of hiking interest rates.
Unemployment is Higher Than What They Tell Us