Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I am and so are a lot of other people.  Remember last weel's jobs number?  Really good at 255,000 which was taken by all as a signal that tings were really picking up.  Then came today's productivity number.  Expected to come in at +0.5% it was DOA on a presicely mirror image...down 0.5%.  Worse yet, the negative reading marked three quarters on the trot; a phenomonon unrecalled by many of the folks who keep track of these things normanally refered to as "economists."  To say that there was a lot of head scratching going on would be an understatement.

As the productivity number is really looked at as a guage for the expansion of an economy the natural question was 9n the face of all of the excellent job report ho could this  number com in so poorly?  The best anser of the day was Steve Lisman of CNBC: "Well, we're highering people so fast that these new folks just aren't trained up well enough to replace older workers who have retitrd!"  Uh, Steve.  In the size of this work force is 255,000 are going to make a difference?  Then again, I'm not an economist but neither is Steve and my first thought might be that with three quarters of declining productivity in the face of an expanding work force, either we got us a bunch of dumb managers out there or the numbers might not be real accurate.  Do I really care?  No, but it does once again bring into question the issue of whether we are dealing with shadows or substance in our attempts to set this economy straight and whether the tools being used are appropriate.  More about that to head out to an early (even by fly-over zone standards) dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment