Is the Establishment Series Overestimating NFP Employment?

That is the proposition forwarded by Kevin Drum at Jabberwocking. Verbatim:

So: have we really created 2.5 million new jobs since March? I’m not sure I believe that.

The graph he posted summarizes his argument succinctly:

Source: Drum (2022).

The stylized fact is that the household series adds almost nothing to the information contained in the establishment series regarding the cyclical behavior or employment, a point made by practictioners (see Furman, 2016, or CEA, 2017). However, the possibility of mismeasurement, particularly in these times, remains. Some suggestion of mismeasurement is provided by the behavior of not-seasonally-adjusted nonfarm payroll (NFP) employment, and total employment covered by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). For a variety of reasons relating to employees coverage, the numbers vary, but the overall trends should provide some insight.

Figure 1: Log ratio of nsa NFP to QCEW (blue), and 2001-19 average (red dashed line). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, NBER, and author’s calculations. 

In 2021 and the first half of 2022, NFP has been below what the historical relationship with QCEW would suggest.

While the establishment survey is exactly that — a survey –, the QCEW is a census which should in principle catch all covered employment, by way of tax records, etc. This data, among others, is used to benchmark the establishment series. The last preliminary benchmark applied to March 2022 (but not has yet been incorporated into the official series — I do this in this post). Notice that in Figure 2, the ratio dropped precipitously in early 2022, and jumped back up in June. This suggest to me that as of June, the nsa NFP series was not way off. Now, the QCEW lags considerably (data through June was published on November 22), so we can’t really use the QCEW to make judgments on data from July through November.

GIven this, what make of net employment growth — measured in different ways — since March 2022 (when the last benchmark month was)? In addition to the official BLS establishment NFP series, the QCEW series (seasonally adjusted by me) and the household series adjusted to the NFP concept are shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Change in employment from NFP (black), QCEW adjusted using Census X-11 seasonal adjustment by author (dark blue), QCEW using multiplicative moving average differences by author (sky blue), and using household employment series adjusted to NFP concept (red), all in 1000’s, relative to 2022M03. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, BLS, and author’s calculations.

The research series on household employment adjusted to NFP concept is not an official series, and is described here. A caveat: given that the household employment series is based on a relatively small sample, the variability associated with it — and hence by extension its derivative series — is going to be relatively large.

Through June, it’s unclear whether NFP undercounts or overcounts relative to the QCEW number given the differing results provided by the seasonal adjustment process. The adjusted  household series indicates that through November, only about 800 thousand NFP jobs were created vs. 2700 thousand from the official NFP series.

One way to get around the seasonal adjustment problems (which have been compounded by the extreme drop associated with the pandemic) is to look at 12 month changes. This obviously downweights recent developments, but at least we get a look at the trends.

Figure 3: 12 month change in employment from not seasonally adjusted NFP (black), QCEW  (dark blue), and household employment series adjusted to NFP concept (red), all in 1000’s, relative to 2022M03. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, BLS, and author’s calculations.

All three series match up pretty well through 2022M06. Reading up to 2022M11, both the NFP and adjusted household series show declines. Which one to believe? As noted earlier, Furman, 2016 and CEA, 2017 place almost total weight on the establishment series. A more formal analysis showing almost total weight on initial establishment series for real time analysis is provided by Goto, Jacobs, Sinclair and van Norder (2021). (As an aside, if I look at the final data for NFP and the adjusted household series, statistically the adjusted household series seems to respond to gaps between the two series, while the NFP series does not; formally, the adjusted series responds to an error correction term.)

So, for now, while I see it as an open question what (NFP) employment growth is, I think (1) it is likely positive, and (2) likely declining in pace.


Macroduck suggests evaluating private NFP using ADP data. I repeat the above analysis, substituting ADP series for the household series.

Figure 3: Change in private employment from NFP (black), private QCEW adjusted using Census X-11 seasonal adjustment by author (dark blue), private QCEW using multiplicative moving average differences by author (sky blue), and ADP private NFP (pink), all in 1000’s, relative to 2022M03. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, BLS, and author’s calculations.


Figure 3: 12 month change in employment from not seasonally adjusted NFP (black), QCEW  (dark blue), and household employment series adjusted to NFP concept (red), all in 1000’s, relative to 2022M03. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, BLS, and author’s calculations.

The ADP series and the BLS CES series match pretty well, with the ADP series showing a faster deceleration. ADP shows about 2 million new private sector jobs vs. 2.45 for the BLS series.

77 thoughts on “Is the Establishment Series Overestimating NFP Employment?

  1. Moses Herzog

    Did you have any thoughts on Justin Wolfers’ rule of thumb, or is that just kinda a lazy man’s way??

  2. pgl

    Speaking of Kevin Drum, please check out:

    Here’s the story of Twitter, Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and the Hunter Biden laptop

    Trump’s favorite people think they have another Hunter Biden scandal and of course JohnH thinks he is all over this faux news. But it is faux news for reasons Kevin goes into detail noting. Yes JohnH is off on another MAGA ruse as usual but we do have good news for Jonny boy – Kevin’s posts includes one of those racy pictures of Hunter Biden which I’m sure Jonny boy will enjoy.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I used to be both a Matt Taibbi fan and a Glen Greenwald fan. Wow, both of them went completely face-first off the rails. Similar to my early thoughts on Tulsi Gabbard—I totally misjudged them in the personal character department. I could even handle Taibbi’s tomcat bachelor stuff (I don’t consider playboy type behavior as necessarily “misogyny”—I view them as separate issues). But selling out his politics and journalistic ethics to being pro-Putin and pro-Kremlin and cozy-ing up to Musk?? Wow, Taibbi and Katie Halper have thrown their morality (or did they ever have any??) completely out the window. Severely disappointing.

      This is like the reverse of what happened with Bruce Bartlett yeah?? Where he had no soul and then finally found his moral compass after it was really too late??

    2. JohnH

      Greenwald is having a great time watching media outrage at Musk’s revealing a smoking gun in Twitter’s censorship of an important story. pgl and the other Biden Bassets here think that censorship is perfectly fine…as long as it’s the Democrats who are doing the censoring.

      “It is hard to overstate how manic, primal and unhinged is the reaction of corporate media employees to the mere prospect that new Twitter owner Elon Musk may restore a modicum of greater free speech to that platform. It was easy to predict — back when Musk was merely toying with the idea of buying Twitter and loosening some of its censorship restrictions — that there would be an all-out attack from Western power centers if he tried. Online censorship has become one of the most potent propaganda weapons they possess, and there is no way they will allow anyone to dilute it even mildly without attempting to destroy them. Even with that expectation in place of what was to come, the liberal sector of the corporate media (by far the most dominant media sector) really outdid itself when it came to group-think panic, rhetorical excess, and reckless and shrill accusations.”

      1. JohnH

        Some of what Taibbi wrote:

        “By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.”

        11. This system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.

        18. Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the [Hunter Biden laptop] story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be “unsafe.” They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.

        Last March Taibbi noted that the NY Times admitted that “People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity. Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.”

        1. Barkley Rosser


          But we already know what is on the laptop, and there simply is nothing that shows anything all that bad about Joe Biden. You mention Burisma, which right wingers have repeatedly lied that Joe Biden demanded there be no investigations of Burisma, supposedly because of Hunter Biden’s connection with it. But in fact Joe Biden demanded that there be investigations of it.

          Maybe the laptop should have more reporting of it, and making it would have been better if there had been, because there simply is nothing there that proves anything particularly bad about Joe Biden. This is a big nothing.

        2. baffling

          Johnh, would it suprise you to learn that the trump team also intervened on behalf of stories on twitter? now, what makes that egregious is that trump was the president at the time. Biden was not in government.

          apparently that is not of concern to Johnh. I think John has a lack of understanding on the first amendment.

          1. pgl

            This entire claim that the government was censoring this story in the fall of 2020 sort of forgets that Trump – not Biden – was President at the time.

      2. pgl

        “pgl and the other Biden Bassets here think that censorship is perfectly fine”

        Wowee wowee – Jonny boy has a new pet term. Joe Biden does like big dogs such as Bassets as opposed to Putin who likes little yappy poodle such as JohnH. Hey Jonny boy – I here Putin cut off your dog food. Awwww – little boy might starve all alone in the basement of the Kremlin.

        BTW – the only thing censored with nude pictures of Hunter. Ask Putin if he has some other nude pictures of Hunter for you to enjoy.

  3. pgl

    An update on Kevin Drum’s latest. One reader wonders if Project Veritas was involved. Maybe but in case you are wondering what Project Veritas is, check them out. I think JohnH works for them.

  4. JohnH

    Does it get any more surreal than this? “ EU Is Hooked on Russia LNG and Paying Billions to Keep It Coming

    Liquefied natural gas imports from Russia are up about 40% in a year as buyers scramble to replace dwindling piped flows. It’s a bitter pill for many across the bloc, which has slapped heavy sanctions on the Kremlin to starve it of funds fueling the war in Ukraine. The EU spent a record €12.5 billion ($13 billion) on Russian LNG from January to September — five times more than a year earlier.

    Surging demand from countries such as France and Belgium have helped make Russia the No. 2 LNG supplier to northwest Europe this year, well behind the US but ahead of Qatar, ship-tracking and port data show.”

    If Europeans don’t freeze this winter, they can thank…[drum roll]…Russia! Nothing like substituting cheap pipeline gas with high priced LNG!!! And their leaders are only figuring out just now that they’ve been had!

    Hey, I have a nice bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan to sell them. Cheap…only a few $Billion! Who do I contact?

    Europeans should throw their leaders out for sheer stupidity…they’re Biden’s Bassett Hounds, one of the dumbest breeds ever bred,

    1. pgl

      Wait – your issue is that the EU is buying more LNG and less natural gas? Dude – you are talking about a logistics issue not 2 different products. Oh well – you never understand the economics of commodities so hey!

      1. JohnH

        Europe is forced to buy more LNG from Russia, at higher prices, because it refused to buy pipeline natural gas at lower prices!

        But leave it to one of Biden’s Bassets to fail to understand the incredible stupidity of European leaders! [And I’ll probably have to repeat it over and over and over again!]

        1. Barkley Rosser


          “incredible stupidity”? So what you are pointing out is that the Europeans are facing costs of supporting the Ukrainians against the criminal invasion by Russia, which in fact also threatens the Europeans as well. Self-defense costs. They seem to be accepting the costs, if with some grumbling. But, hey, most nations spend money on defense. This is essentially that, not “incredible stupidity,” especially given the out-of-control aggressive behavior of Putin, which you somehow fail to recognize all the time.

          1. pgl

            Jonny boy the other day noted high Exxon profits as his evidence that natural gas is the sole cause. Never mind the fact that 85% of Exxon’s revenues come from oil. I challenged Jonny boy to provide segmented financials showing natural gas profits v. oil profits. He has not taken the challenge.

            Now another challenge for our loud mouth know nothing – come on Jonny document how much of Russia’s exports come from natural gas, LNG, oil, and any other commodity they happen to export. Do you even know how? We didn’t think so.

        2. pgl

          The only thing stupid here is Jonny boy and his desperate attempts at making a point. Now tell us your sophisticated model that estimates the appropriate price of commodities using historical prices – or whatever your usual babbling proposed.

    2. pgl

      “The European Union has slashed its dependence on Russian energy this year, banning coal imports and readying an oil embargo too. But one product is booming, and is unlikely to face an EU boycott anytime soon.”

      JohnH does not want us to read the first line in his own link. But it is interesting that Jonny boy is hoping people freeze this winter. After all – he is having issues getting the Kremlin to give his daily dog food.

    3. pgl

      Deep down in the article Jonny boy linked to but failed to READ:

      Russian gas now makes up less than 10% of the region’s supply of the fuel, down from more than a third last year

      Seriously Jonny boy – your habit of linking to articles you never understood is getting really humorous!

      1. JohnH

        And here I thought that the whole point of sanctions was to keep Russia from selling natural gas.

        But it turns out the Europe is perfectly happy buying Russian LNG at much, much higher prices. (And it may have saved them from rolling blackouts)

        But Biden’s Basset can’t get the irony!

        1. pgl

          Russia’s only export is natural gas? Not oil? Not uranium? Jonny boy says the dumbest things.

          Cone on dude – find another hobby. One that does not so embarrass your mother.

    4. pgl

      If someone actually has this updated – let us know but here is how Russia’s $330 billion in exports during 2020 stack up by product:,%28%2441.7B%29%2C%20Belarus%20%28%2420.5B%29%2C%20Germany%20%28%2418.9B%29%2C%20and%20Italy%20%28%2416.7B%29.

      37% from petroleum (crude oil plus refined oil) and less than 6% from natural gas and LNG. Now Jonny boy tells us that the tiny amount of LNG Russia had exported had increased by FORTY PERCENT. WOW FORTY PERCENT!!!! Of course 40% of nothing is nowhere near what Russia used to export in terms of petroleum

      But let’s pity boy little Jonny boy as his preK teacher informed me that he still does not understand basic arithmetic.

      1. pgl

        I have decided to do a really simple calculation based on these 2020 numbers since I know this is all too difficult for Jonny boy to grasp. But let’s reasonably assume Russia exported $120 billion of oil in 2020 and $20 billion in natural gas/LNG. Now let’s generously assume the later rose by 50 percent – wow 50 PERCENT!!! At the same time oil exports fell by 25%.

        Now Jonny boy is stupid enough to actually think Russian energy exports rose but now preK arithmetic notes they would fall from $140 billion to only $120 billion.

        Now my apologies to the rest of those who actually have a functioning brain but we get Jonny never learned basic arithmetic so I hope this helps.

        Of course we know Jonny boy is going to go off all emotional saying my example does not fit reality. OK – then let this incompetent little troll provide us with actual numbers on Russian oil and natural gas exports that are complete enough to take up the challenge I gave to Jonny boy. I wonder if he actually has the mental abilities to do so.

    5. baffling

      Johnh, the Russians blowing up the Nord stream pipeline had something to do with this current situation.

      the end game is simply to continue to push Europe, and many other parts of the globe, away from Russian fossil fuels and towards domestically produced renewable energy sources.

      this is another example of Russia winning the battle but losing the war. its vast natural resources, upon which most of the nations wealth is built, is becoming worthless with each passing day.

      1. pgl

        “this is another example of Russia winning the battle but losing the war. its vast natural resources, upon which most of the nations wealth is built, is becoming worthless with each passing day.”

        This motivated me to see what has happened to the share price for Putin’s favorite company – Gazprom.

        Now Jonny boy keeps telling us how the invasion of Ukraine has helped Russian natural gas. But oh my – the stock price of Gazprom is down.

      2. pgl

        BTW even though Gazprom is the largest producer of natural gas in the world, only half of its revenues come from natural gas. About 30% comes from oil products with the remainder coming from other activities. But 50% is a lot more than the 15% of revenues that Exxon gets from producing natural gas. I say this because Jonny boy stupidly attributed Exxon’s increase in profits to natural gas as if it gets no profits from the sale of oil.

        I challenged Jonny boy to read the Annual Reports for companies like Exxon and Gazprom and report back on their segmented financials. Alas – I sense Jonny boy has no clue how to do this.

  5. pgl

    JohnH’s praise of Human Right Watch might get him in a lot of trouble as he begs Putin’s people in the Kremlin for his dog food:

    On February 24, 2022, Russia commenced a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, conducting attacks that have caused civilian deaths and injuries, and damage to civilian buildings, including hospitals, schools, and homes. There have been indiscriminate attacks in violation of the laws of war, some of which may amount to war crimes. By the end of the first week of hostilities, over a million people in Ukraine had fled their homes, many seeking refuge outside Ukraine. In Russia, censorship reached new heights as authorities blocked access to multiple independent media sites on the basis of their publications about the war, and major independent outlets closed. Thousands of anti-war protesters across Russia were arbitrarily detained during the first week of the war. The European Union and its member states should do everything they can to ensure safe passage and fair treatment for all civilians fleeing Ukraine.

    HRW can get some things right but Jonny boy has told us over and over how Putin is the good guy here. Oh well – maybe he can kiss up to Putin so he does not starve in the Kremlin.

  6. pgl

    Good news on the oil front:

    As gas prices continue to fall, the coalition of oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia on Sunday opted against trying to stop the slide with cuts to the world’s oil supply. The decision to keep production steady came Sunday at a virtual meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, called OPEC Plus. Sunday’s move comes after the group unleashed a diplomatic firestorm at its last meeting in October, when it agreed to cut output by 2 million barrels per day. The move drew a sharp rebuke from the White House and a vow from President Biden to inflict “consequences” on Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the organization. But projections that the October cut would send gas prices soaring and generate an infusion of new cash for Russia to bankroll its war on Ukraine proved wrong. Only weeks after the consortium announced that cut, oil prices began dropping. Gasoline now costs less than it has in nine months, with consumers paying lower prices than they did just before Russia launched its invasion.

    The story continues noting how a fall in the demand for gasoline are lowering gasoline prices. Huh – this seems contrary to the usual bloviating from Princeton Steve but I have to admit I’ve stopped reading his incessant babble. I do know this is going to ruin Christmas for Trump’s favorite stooges here.

  7. Macroduck

    Drum has done what lots of people do all the time; he has made a statement of his personal thought, his level of confidence, about an issue. One entirely reasonable response to such a statement is “Yeah? So what?.” One’s personal views don’t count as evidence.

    Drum convinces himself to disbelieve the non-farm payroll net hiring figure by calculating a net hiring figure from JOLTS data, which show a slowing in net hiring beginning in February. What Drum did not do, or at least did not present to his readers, is a comparison with the NFP net hiring figure. If he had, he’d have recognized that the JOLTS calculation and the NFP series both peaked in February. The only new information from the JOLTS data is a slightly FASTER pace of hiring than reported in the NFP data:

    So the JOLTS data agree with the QCEW data in suggesting that job growth has been faster than reported in NFP data.

    JOLTS data are taken from an establishment survey, just like NFP data, after all. So is the QCEW survey. So every survey of employers (including ADP, which Drum also ignored), agrees that job growth has been rapid relative to trend. The outlier is the household survey. We can choose to doubt all three federal establishment surveys and a private survey while putting our faith in a single household survey, as Drum has done. Oh, and let’s not ignore state data from households – jobless claims have been historically low through the period in question. But Drum’s own, personal doubt is not evidence. That’s particularly true given the argument he used to convince himself is both mistaken and incomplete in its examination of data.

    I realize that curiosity about the reason for the discrepancy between the household jobs survey and every other source of employment data is boring. Why ponder when you can jump to conclusions? But just maybe, in all the structural turmoil in the labor market, something is different now that drives an unusually large wedge between establishment and household reports of employment. Something we haven’t yet identified, making strong conclusions about which one is “right” a bit silly. But as I said, that’s boring.

      1. Macroduck

        Problem is, I don’t know how Wolfers arrived at his rule. Reasonably, we want the best estimate we can get of the final, census-based job count. That requires little more than a bit of regression analysis, using unrevised initial inputs against the final, revised census figure – an exercise Wolfers may have done.

        But still… of the comments to Wolfers’ tweet makes a useful point. Household data swing hard from month to month. Do we really want to put even a 0.2% weight on a 736,000 rise in March and a 353,000 decline in April? That’s over a million job swing in a 2-month period, after seasonal adjustment. Over a million x 0.2 is a 200,000+ swing introduced into Wolfers’ blended figure.

        Here’s what I do with output, inflation and employment data. I look at the main indicators and assess them together; I do not plant my flag on a single data series. What’s the big deal if we accept Wolfers’ also look at the series over time. The big swings in the household series, and the smaller swings in Wolfers’ blended series, smooth out with a 2 or 3 month average.

        This isn’t even hard to do. It’s a habit of mind. If one habitually asks “which number is right?” or habitually thinks “I trust the ADP data”, it seems like a chore to dine from the data smorgasbord, but it really isn’t. Spend a few data days looking ADP/NFP/household, or at CPI/PCE deflator and both core measures, and very quickly you start thinking that way. Same with averages. You stop looking for the “right” number and settle in to a comfy impression of the broader economic story. It’s a big economy out there. Enjoy it.

        Now, Wolfers and Drum both look at establishment and household data, and come to very different conclusions. Who ya gonna believe?

        1. pgl

          A 80/20 weighted average? Sort of reminds me of gift and estate valuations where some appraiser had a very biased DCF estimate and a totally worthless P//E comparison and weighted them 60/40. And people get paid for this? No wonder Princeton Steve holds himself as a “consultant”.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ pgl
            I’d have to respectfully disagree with you on this. Even as much as Menzie has taken a crowbar to the household series, I think even Menzie would concede the household series still has some value. The same as I think Menzie has jabbed at the Michigan consumer sentiment number vs professional forecasters expectations, but still feels Michigan’s consumer sentiment holds value and is worth taking. If a person thinks both numbers still hold informational value, but that the establishment series holds more value than the household series (which it strikes me Menzie has gone near overboard hammering his readership with) wouldn’t an 80/20 ratio (weighting) make a lot of sense??

            I would also add, I respect Justin Wolfers’ opinions a “little bit” (as in a gargantuan chasm) more than “the typical consultant’s” opinion.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: The household survey clearly has informational value; if you want to disaggregate by demographics, etc., you have to pretty much rely on the CPS. The question is whether it has informational value relative to establishment (CES) in terms of tracking the business cycle. There I’d say it probably doesn’t have much, although it might (possibly) signal recessions a month or two earlier than establishment (although I wouldn’t want to try to publish a paper saying it were so).

          3. Moses Herzog

            @ Professor Chinn Appreciate the delineations and further edification (no sarcasm). It’s an interesting topic, I guess because the absolute size of the data and the difficulty collecting the data (real time considerations and how to lasso the data)

      2. pgl

        You’re right below to suggest I was being a bit glib over Wolfers’s 80/20 rule of thumb. After all optimal weighting is a time honored tradition for people who do the hard work. A recent example here was how Dr. Chinn let us know the research on the weighting of GDP and GDI. Interesting stuff. Now Dr. Chinn knows more labor economics than I do and he has expressed his view on this topic.

        Which is to say this discussion you raised is a whole lot more interesting than that nonsense we see here from Princeton Steve. What hey – what’s new?

        BTW early on it is Brazil 2 South Korea 0. But a long way to go.

        1. Moses Herzog

          Now that USA and Poland are out of it, I was trying to find a team to hang my hat on (“pulling for” and sentiments wise). I’m not a Brazil fan per se, but they are a joy to watch from a pure talent and athleticism perspective. I don’t know….. should I pull for Netherlands because of my German and very slightly Dutch roots?? I don’t know I guess I will look later and see who is left that I can root for. Germany was really good a few years ago. Something lost here recently for Germany, I suspect it’s coaching but I don’t follow soccer closely enough to speak about it intelligently. My mainland Chinese friends got me more into international soccer than I had been before. Up to then I viewed it as kind of a wussy sport.

          1. pgl

            Brazil’s scoring 4 goals in the first 36 minutes was a joy to watch especially those celebration dances after each goal. But I jumped on the Messi bandwagon just two hours after USA lost to the Dutch. Messi looked so happy on the pitch as they bettered the Aussies.

            Spain just lost to Morocco as they sucked at penalty kicks even more than Japan did. So we have one Muslim team, two Latin American teams, and of course 5 European teams in the quarter finals. BTW – go Ronaldo!

  8. Macroduck

    An Iranian official has told reporters that Iran’s morality police have disbanded – a small victory for protestors. Protests were sparked by the morality police killing one young woman. Iranian security forces have since killed hundreds.

    The Iranian regime has lost legitimacy through violence, corruption and a failure to adequately serve the public. China’s regime is having similar troubles, though less severe. Youth unemployment, real estate losses, banking problems, lockdowns, abuse of government power in response to legitimate grievances – not a good way to demonstrate legitimacy

    The U.S. Supreme Court is about to hear a case in which Republican legislators have declared their will superior to that of voters and not subject to judicial review – a swipe at both representative democracy and the separation of powers. Trump has called for the suspension of the Constitution so that he can be declared president, and at least one Republican House Member has said that’s not a deal-breaker for him. Other Republicans are mostly silent. Republicans made questions about election legitimacy part of their standard campaign pitch this year. Both Republicans and Democrats have “run against Washington” for decades. School boards are being threatened. Election officials are being threatened. The Supreme Court’s public approval is near an historic low, but with a huge partisan split in opinions. Of 16 U.S. “institutions” only two received approval ratings above 50% in a Gallup suvey in July – small business and the military. Congress was at 7%. Big business and the criminal justice system at 14%. A violent mob engaged in insurrection at the U.S. Capital in January at the behest of a defeated president, and many Republicans have made excuses for them.

    Keep it up, guys. Delegitimizing institutions, politicizing the courts and emboldening whack jobs is gonna work out great. Oh, and one way to delegitimize government faster is to pretend that our government is just like Iran’s or China’s or Venezuela’s, but mostly only when Democrats are in control. That’s really helpful. Your kids will reap what you sow.

    Man, I needed to get that off my chest!

  9. ltr

    December 4, 2022

    Significant moments of Shenzhou-14, China’s ‘busiest’ space mission
    By Liu Wei

    The Shenzhou-14 crew has achieved a slew of breakthroughs in China’s space exploration as the mission checked a list of tasks to help assemble the country’s space station.

    The Shenzhou-14 mission rang down the curtain as its three taikonauts safely landed in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sunday night after 183 days in space.

    Under their watch, the space station saw nine assembly formations as well as five dockings with other spacecraft, three instances of separation and two transpositions. The mission members conducted three extravehicular activities – a record number.

    The mission collaborated with the ground to complete the basic T-shaped structure of the China Space Station, with the Tianhe core module in the center and Wentian and Mengtian lab modules on each side of it.

    The crew helped install and activate multiple experiment cabins in the two lab modules and conducted dozens of experiments and technology verifications.

    They also carried out massive maintenance and management tasks to keep the space station functioning well.

    The Shenzhou-14 crew, who took off to space on June 5, has been dubbed the “busiest crew” of China’s manned space program.

    They have accomplished a number of “firsts” that will be written in the country’s space progress….

    1. Macroduck

      The first component of the International Space Station was launched in 1998. The first residential activity was in 2000. Twenty-two years later, China is working on a smaller, less capable station of its own. With lots of “firsts” to put on the refrigerator door. How nice.

    2. ltr

      December 4, 2022

      Significant moments of Shenzhou-14, China’s ‘busiest’ space mission
      By Liu Wei

      July 25, 2022

      The core module of China’s space station and Wentian lab module, both weighing over 20 tonnes, docked in orbit.

      September 1, 2022

      The Shenzhou-14 crew exited from the airlock cabin of the Wentian lab module for the first time to carry out extravehicular activities (EVAs) with the help of a small robotic arm. In previous missions, the taikonauts exited from the Tianhe core module.

      September 30, 2022

      The Wentian lab module completed an in-orbit transposition for the first time.

      October 12, 2022

      The Shenzhou-14 crew delivered the first educational science session from the Wentian lab module to the ground.

      November 3, 2022

      The Shenzhou-14 crew entered the Mengtian lab module. For the first time, the taikonauts could work in all three modules of the China Space Station, including the core module and two lab modules.

      November 12, 2022

      The Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft docked with the China Space Station about two hours after its launch, a record time in the world.

      It was also the first time that a cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-5 was sent to the space station while taikonauts were in orbit.

      November 17, 2022

      The Shenzhou-14 crew conducted their third spacewalk. It was the first round of EVAs after the space station’s basic T-shape configuration.

      For the first time a small robotic arm linked up with the bigger robotic arm in a total length of 15 meters to support taikonauts’ tasks, expanding the scope of the space activities.

      The Shenzhou-14 mission made an unprecedented total of three spacewalks.

      November 30, 2022

      The Shenzhou-14 crew welcomed another team, Shenzhou-15, at the space station, a historic gathering in orbit for China’s space exploration.

  10. ltr

    December 4, 2022

    a) There were 5,226 coronavirus deaths in China on May 27, 2022.
    b) There were no coronavirus deaths from May 27, for nearly 6 months, till November 20.
    c) From November 20 through December 4, 2022 there have been 9 coronavirus deaths in China, bringing the total from 5,226 to 5,235.

    d) During the nearly 6 months of no coronavirus deaths in China, there were 300 to 500 coronavirus deaths each day in the United States.
    e) There have been 1,106,860 coronavirus deaths in the US through December 4, 2022.

  11. New Deal democrat

    Beyond my number-crunching ability, but it certainly looks like if you were to take the 6 month difference of the 3 month rolling average of household survey numbers (i.e., take the 3 month average, compare it with the 3 month average 6 months later), and that number were negative or up only slightly, e.g., 0.25%, the only false positives for recession signals since the inception of the series 75 years ago are 1951-52 and 1995. Which, of course, is also the signal now.

    Which I could put down to the household series simply being more noisy than the establishment series (although in general given the relative volatility of the series compared with the establishment survey, I would expect it to throw out more negative numbers as the jobs market decelerated towards recession).

    BUT, when it is confirming the very strong signal from tax withholding, which is a comprehensive daily report of every single SS and Medicare dollar paid by every employee/-er to the federal government, I think it deserves particular attention.

    Riddle me this: How exactly do we explain average non-supervisory wages going up 5.8% from November 2021-November 2022, but the three month average of taxes withheld by those workers (not an exact match, but pretty close) only going up 3.5% YoY for the entire 3 month period of September-November?

    In California, 1/8th of the entire country’s population, according to the State’s official report, withholding taxes paid have gone *down* YoY since the end of August:

    And here is the link to Liz Ann Sonders last graph of the 10 week YoY comparison of nationwide withholding taxes:
    By her measure, the growth in withholding taxes paid YoY declined from 12.5% in March to 6.7% in late August. As of the end of November, that had declined further to 3.9%.

    I am simply unable to reconcile the gains in the establishment survey with the comprehensive data from tax withholding; but the household survey’s punk numbers for the past 8 months fit right in.

    1. Steven Kopits

      Put another way, it’s a statistical anomaly resulting from the pandemic. Whether the numbers are ‘good’ or not depends upon what interests you. More people aren’t working, but those who are working are worker harder.

      1. Steven Kopits

        If I extrapolate the FRED/BLS data, then the divergence between employment and jobs should end cc Q3 next year, when the ratio of those with second jobs returns to its pre-pandemic levels.

        1. pgl

          ltr has presented the FRED data on Multiple Jobholders as a Percent of Employed. Take a look at the actual numbers. Maybe even an incompetent consultant like you should see the real world data undermines your dumb made up argument. Extrapolate all you want but you go nothing.

      2. pgl

        Let’s see. The mean over the past 20 years is 5%. The mean revision you allude to puts it at currently at 4.8%, which is where this ratio was at the beginning of the year. Yea this ratio has varied a little falling at some points to 4.6%. The only statistical anomaly is in your little brain. I would suggest you learn to WRITE but apparently you first need to learn preK arithmetic.

    2. pgl

      You peddled this BS before. I certainly hope our host finds the time to shoot down yet another one of your made up pieces of nonsense.

    3. Macroduck

      Month to month, the change in multiple job holding doesn’t account for the difference between household and establishment survey net hiring numbers:

      The pattern of change doesn’t match. In addition, the change in multiple jobholders isn’t large enough to account for the difference between the household and establishment net hiring figures. If my math is right, it would account for only 34% of the difference over the past 12 months. Good to know, but not even half the story. I’m pretty sure this point has been covered in earlier comments.

      People who work multiple W2 jobs also pay taxes, so multiple job holding doesn’t explain the problem NDD has raised unless there has been a 596,000 increase in second jobs over tha past year without any of them being W2 jobs.

      1. pgl

        ltr presented the data in another way which confirms what you said. Stevie brought up this bogus claim a while back and we shot him down. Of course his level of dishonesty is apparent from the way he ignores people who point reality and the way he rehashes an already discredited bunch of BS a few weeks later.

        You are right that he is an incompetent “consultant”. But this goes further – Stevie is a very dishonest person. But hey I guess calling out liars like him is “above my pay grade”.

    4. pgl

      mean reversion? Such fancy words for someone who apparently cannot even do preK arithmetic. See Macroduck’s comment as you latest BS makes no sense. No sense at all.

  12. baffling

    macroduck was one of the first people on this post to discuss the issue of treasury liquidity, even when others (including myself) doubted the issue until learning a bit more.
    now I have heard about some issues with the large amount of currency derivatives involved in the debt settlements around the world. meaning the $65 trillion in debt risk may not be as transparent as once thought, as there appears to be off the book accounting going on. does macro have any news on this front?

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Baffling
      Terrific find by you, both the article and the BIS paper. The way I find useful to think of this in your mind, is the concept of “notional value”.

      “Importantly, though the notional value may be a large sum, there is often no initial outlay required to enter into such a contract. As such, an investor is free to deploy funds into various investments until the value date of the contract.”

      1. baffling

        what caught my attention was the notional value idea as well. this was a big issue during the financial crisis, as the notional value of derivatives on those mortgage products dwarfed the actual value of the real products. in particular, synthetic derivatives seem to be something that should be regulated or severely restricted. at any rate, I don’t think this problem is as big as the financial crisis. on the other hand, it seems to impact international players, who may not be under as strict regulations as domestic firms. that is a worry of mine. hoping to see further reporting soon.

  13. pgl

    Rudy Giuliani may lose his law license:

    Rudy Giuliani “weaponized his law license” in an assault on the Constitution that he took an oath to uphold, the D.C. disciplinary counsel charged at the start of the former New York City mayor’s attorney misconduct hearing on Monday. The D.C. Bar accuses Giuliani of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice for spearheading a nationwide effort to overturn former President Donald Trump’s defeat. Monday’s hearing focused in particular on Giuliani’s “frivolous” lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania, which Fox noted was the only case that the former mayor “personally litigated.” Like dozens of Trump surrogates and allies, Giuliani requested audacious and even unprecedented judicial action. At minimum, Fox noted, Giuliani wanted a federal judge to throw out some 680,000 mail-in ballots, and the maximum relief called for invalidated the roughly 7 million ballots entirely, handing the decision to the state legislature. “A constitutional democracy like ours does not work unless the loser honors the decision of the voters,” Fox said, noting that no other court in U.S. history had ever considered such a remedy.

  14. pgl

    I think this may be why Putin pet poodle JohnH is hurling all sorts of BS – things are not going well for his boy in Donbas:

    A Russian commander has reportedly died after members of his unit deserted from the front line en masse. Russian independent news outlet The Insider reported the death of Viktor Sevalnev, a 43-year-old ex-convict who was recruited by the Wagner Group, a mercenary outfit, for Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. The outlet cited information it obtained from Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian human rights activist who runs the anti-corruption website Sevalnev headed the 7th motorized rifle company of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, and had been hospitalized after sustaining injuries in battle. The Insider said a recorded conversation between Sevalnev and his wife in November revealed that he had been threatened with execution because soldiers in his unit had deserted.
    “Don’t send people here…they want to kill everyone,” he said in a phone call with his wife Lilia, according to the report. “Today it’s me, tomorrow another, that’s all. We’re just murder material [to them]. The Ministry of Defense executes people. They know that we’re [dead men] and they don’t give a damn,” he also reportedly said. According to the news outlet, in November, Sevalnev’s unit sustained heavy losses, some soldiers were killed and the rest deserted. His wife said she was told on December 1 that Sevalnev had died in the Donbas region on November 25 from shrapnel wounds and a powerful blow to the head. However, Osechkin told the news outlet he has doubts about the Kremlin’s version of events. He said he believes that Sevalnev could have been “executed” for the desertion of his subordinates.

    Putin resorts to hiring mercenary outfits. The mercenaries desert the Putin war crime mission, Putin has their leader executed. But Putin’s pet poodle wants us to think the Russian genocide of Ukrainians is going as planned. Oh well – at least Elon Musk and Donald Trump are doing their best to overturn the US Constitution for Putin.

    1. pgl

      Thanks for this series as it completely undermines the latest made up BS from Princeton Steve. Of course, we probably covered this the last time Stevie put forth his nonsensical hypothesis. Stevie does not seem to actually READ anything sensible people point out.

Comments are closed.