Employment Release: We Are Now Back to the 2016 Stochastic Trend

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment, in 000’s, seasonally adjusted (dark blue), and stochastic trend in logs estimated over 2016 (dark red). Orange denotes Trump administration. Source: BLS, December employment release, and author’s calculations.

4 thoughts on “Employment Release: We Are Now Back to the 2016 Stochastic Trend

  1. pgl

    The conservative WSJ oped pages accuses Trump of lying. Hey Rick – pay attention as this topic really matters:


    The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, usually friendly to President Donald Trump, came out swinging Friday morning, publishing an editorial skewering Trump’s statements on Afghanistan at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting. They call Trump’s mockery of other nations who fought alongside American troops in Afghanistan “slander,” noting the number of soldiers who died in the effort from the UK alone. The board then targets Trump’s support of the Soviet Union’s presence in the country in the ’80s when he said they were “right to be there.” “Right to be there?” the board writes with indignation. “We cannot recall a more absurd misstatement of history by an American President. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan with three divisions in December 1979 to prop up a fellow communist government.”

    Trump is indeed Putin’s poodle. Suggesting that the Soviet Union was right is next to treason.

  2. pgl

    Payroll employment growth was good but the employment to population rate seems stuck at 60.6%.

    Yes nominal hourly earnings rose by 3.2%. But no one on Team Trump (including the Rickster) gets that inflation was 2.2%. A 1% increase in real wages does not suck but it is far for the greatest labor market ever.

  3. Erik Poole

    pgl: It would have worked to US strategic interests to leave the Soviet forces in Afghanistan alone during the 1980s.

    Not just because chasing them out created fertile grounds for bin Laden to organize an invasion of the USA but because Afghanistan would have continued to drain the Soviet Union of significant resources. Just like patching up Syria has the potential to drain Russia of resources.

    Too bad the peace dividend from the implosion of the Soviet Union was squandered so quickly……

    In any event, in the post-war period, aside from giving US troops experience in killing people, it seems like military policy is shaped by Neo-Marxist considerations a la Baran and Sweezy. Social wealth must be destroyed in order to prevent the chronic overproduction of goods by a capitalist economy. The interests of Neo-Conservatives, social conservatives and Neo-Marxists converge.

    Then the so-called “War on Terror” seems designed to create blow back and continue a never-ending cycle of violence or if you prefer learning opportunities for young American soldiers.

  4. Neil

    I wonder how this would look for something like aggregate weekly payrolls. If the jobs market is tightening, we would expect some slowdown in jobs growth? But are hours worked and earnings up?

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