Is California in Recession (Part XVII)

June employment figures are out. Time to re-evaluate this assessment from one and a half years ago in Political Calculations that California was in recession.

Going by these [household survey based labor market] measures, it would appear that recession has arrived in California, which is partially borne out by state level GDP data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. [text as accessed on 12/27/2017]

The release provides an opportunity to revisit this question. It’s (still) unlikely that a recession occurred in California.

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment in California (blue), in 000’s, s.a., on log scale. Source: BLS.

Admittedly, these data will be revised, particularly with the benchmark revisions coming out in the new year. Still it’s hard to see how the data as reported are consistent with a California recession.

Wells Fargo concluded on Friday:

After a slow start earlier this year, California’s economy appears to have shifted back into high gear. Nonfarm employment surged during the second quarter, with employers adding 46,200 jobs in June, following gains of 21,600 jobs in May and 48,600 jobs in April. The 116,400 jobs added during the second quarter is two and half times what was added during the first quarter of the year.

Ironman has never, to my knowledge, acknowledged his forecast failure. However, in January 2018 he upgraded California’s condition to “lackluster”, still fearing minimum wage hikes would stall employment. For some people, a minimum wage hike is all that’s required to push the economy over the precipice…

So are the wages of over-reliance on the state-level household survey

11 thoughts on “Is California in Recession (Part XVII)

  1. pgl

    In other news, Hassett and Glassman are celebrating 17 years of the DOW exceeding 36000 while John Cochrane is still fearful that monetary policy under Obam will lead to hyperinflation.

    1. Bruce Hall

      In other news, the world’s climate reached its “tipping point” in 2012, so a recession is a big “meh”. Appealing to “authority” is so worthwhile.

      Rajendra Pachauri, the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that if “there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.”

      “What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment,” he said.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Apparently Kamala Harris’s threat to put minority parents in jail because of truancy had positive affects on productivity. Who knew??

  3. noneconomist

    One fast food place in town is advertising a starting wage of $13.25/hr. Have seen others at $13. CA. legislated minimum is $12. We’re NE of Sacramento, not close to the Bay Area.
    Not hard to remember–and chuckle at– all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth when the legislature passed legislation raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 by 2023.

    1. Moses Herzog

      You just wait!!!! You just wait!!!!! You just wait until tomorrow when the apocalypse hits in Sacramento just after lunchtime. The skies will go completely dark, you will no longer see the Sun or the Moon, stars will fall down beneath the horizon, and a sinister otherworldly voice will beckon from the skies “You of the living wage, have sinned against nature!!!!!”

      The Demon of the $12 wage will rain down hellfire on all those no longer requiring payday loans to subsist in life, and will scorch all of the Earth within a 20 mile radius of greater Sacramento. And if that doesn’t work, the Demon of the $12 wage will call in Saint Ronnie Reagan to “finish the job”:

      Keep women and children out of the public areas after a raising of the minimum wage, or you will rue the day you started a family!!!!

      1. Ithaqua

        I have to admit, I usually enjoy your posts quite a bit, but this one is a real keeper… what, no upvote button?

        1. Moses Herzog

          Appreciate the compliment. A large reservoir of bitterness and resentment (not to mention oversensitivity) comes in handy when writing little screeds.

          Pretty certain the up/down vote button would not be of service to me. I might even get an occasional down vote from the hosts of the blog in the vulgarity dept, and the real sickening part is, they would probably be “in the right”.

  4. pgl

    And yes – this post is about California, which Trump and minions like PeakTrader want us to be some liberal sh#ithole. FRED – please tell us about this state’s unemployment rate since 2011?

    Oh wait – its decline mirrors the decline in Rhode Island, which is supposed to be some economic miracle????!!!

    FRED? Stop producing FAKE NEWS!

    1. pgl

      I just learned from watching some dumb cable news show that Rhode Island’s economy went from unemployment in excess of 11% in 2011 to only 3.6% now. FRED? Please confirm:

      The local news reports:

      ‘We know President Donald Trump loves twitter. He especially likes to settle scores with it, so when New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman whacked him in a column two days ago, he fought back with assorted insults. The newspaper column also complimented Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo as a moderate Democrat improving her economy….So in Trump’s series of tweets, he mentioned Raimondo, not by name, but by saying, “….Governor of the State did a good job. That may be true but she could not have done it without the tremendous economic success of our Country & the turnaround that my Administration has caused.” Raimondo was on WPRO Friday morning, and responded to Gene Valicenti’s question. “I’m pleased that the President agrees Rhode Island has had an economic turnaround because we have. The national economy is doing better, but I spend a lot of time protecting Rhode Islanders from him,” said Raimondo. And she would not give him any credit for economic gains in Rhode Island. Mike Stenhouse from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity thinks she’s wrong.’

      Ah yes – some bozo from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity is another Trump sycophant. The cable news show gave the Governor a chance to respond. She noted her state has been moving away from the ancient manufacturing base that Trump wants to hold onto with infrastructure investment and training for a more modern Rhode Island economy. Trump’s tax cuts for the rich are reducing Federal funding of these efforts.

      But wait a second – back to FRED. It seems a lot of the decline in Rhode Island’s unemployment rate occurred from 2012 to 2016 when that Kenyan Socialist known as Barack Obama was President. Yes – the President was calling Obama’s America “garbage”. Both Trump and Raimondo need to stop taking credit for the progress made during Obama’s 2nd term. As far as Mr. Stenhouse, could someone give this clown better talking points?

      1. Moses Herzog

        You’re not trying to argue for Mike Stenhouse as the next Fed Res Board appointee are you??

        Thank you. Thanks so much. I’ll be doing stand up at the Men’s Rotary Club in Yates Center Kansas on Wednesday night. Bring a lady friend and your first can of Skunk brand beer is free.

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