Where is the U.S. Economy Going?

In January, the U.S. Labor Department estimated that the non-farming sector of the economy created 517,000 new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Reading the fine print, you see these new jobs exist only on the statistician’s worksheet. The estimate is that on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the economy lost 2.5 million jobs. Just before the holidays, additional workers are hired to meet the extra demand and are laid off at the season’s end.

The variations are taken into account and smoothed over to reveal the underlying trend. This year, they figured about 3 million workers would be laid off. But these are estimates. Since only 2.5 million were let go on a seasonally adjusted basis, the economy created about half a million additional jobs. But how to make the seasonal adjustment is a complex subject. We are still in the aftermath of a collapse in the hotel and restaurant industries caused by COVID-19. Employment numbers tanked when people stopped traveling and eating out and have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Perhaps fewer workers than usual were hired this holiday season, so fewer workers were laid off when it ended.

Another factor was the unusually mild weather that occurred over the country in January. With little snow on the East Coast and Midwest, major storms were limited mainly to California. Wind-driven rain ravaged most of the state, except for higher elevations in the thinly populated Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. The economy was disrupted less by winter storms than usual. Weather is not accounted for in making seasonal adjustments.

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One thought on “Where is the U.S. Economy Going?

  1. Hello Sam. I have a question regarding the monetary base. What would happen if the Fed does not delete the excess token money they have created since the Fall of 2008? Since August 2008, the monetary base has increased by more than 6-fold. The production of gold has nowhere near reached this level. Surely there has to be some type of consequence to this.

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