labor market

Huge Increase in Jobs: Are Bonds Doomed?

   Today’s monthly BLS employment report had a huge surprise 266k increase in jobs. Normally this would be inflationary, thus ruining the value of bonds. Yet the yield on the ten year Treasury rose only 3 basis points (that’s 3/100ths of a percent) to 1.83%. Gold went down 1%, indicating the market doesn’t believe the jobs increase is inflationary.     The key to inflation is when banks lend money that increases the money supply, causing inflation. (Also it can be caused by the central bank monetizing the debt, which is not the case right now, although it could be in future decades. QE as done by most countries is not true “spendable” debt monetization.) To lend money the bank examines

2019-12-06T09:03:40-08:00December 6th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

No Inflation in the Employment Report

     The BLS Payroll Report was issued today showing 136,000 new jobs. Of this perhaps 100,000 are needed for population increase, thus the real net gain was about 36,000 which is almost nothing out of a work force (total seeking or holding jobs) of 160 million. Job growth is not occurring in prime aged males, thus risk that growth is in low paid jobs held by other groups; growth of low wage jobs not inflationary at this point because these job increases mostly went to high school drop outs. The least skilled sector of society have many problems like no reserves, no 24 month job history, bad credit, etc. so they can’t qualify for an A paper loan that increases

2019-10-04T08:57:06-07:00October 4th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on No Inflation in the Employment Report

Surprise Jobs Increase is Misleading

   The headline new employment rose 224,000 last month, far in excess of the 171,000 three month average. The global economy is reducing its economic activity, so the increase in domestic jobs looks suspicious. Half the jobs gain came from the hypothetical birth-death model. Employment growth in five months from actual data from companies (not from the birth-death model) has been zero. Multiple job holders increased 301,000, if not for them, the jobs number would have been negative. Almost 60% of Household survey employment growth was from self-employed people. So these could be starving rookie independent contractor sales reps, not people with real jobs. The age 25-55 prime aged sector only increased by 29,000 last month and for the past

2019-07-05T17:45:04-07:00July 5th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Surprise Jobs Increase is Misleading

Employment Market Weakens, Recession Coming Soon

    The Employment report was released by the BLS today showing only 75,000 new jobs created, less than the 100,000 a month needed to keep up with population growth. Thus, on a relative population-adjusted basis, employment shrank by 25,000 jobs. Based on employment to population percentages before the GFC of 2008, the hidden unemployed are roughly 1.0% to 1.5% of the workforce, thus the unemployment rate is close to 5% instead of the official 3.6%. Many workers are labeled by the BLS as employed even though they have a speculative, high risk self-employment occupation with almost no income or they may have a waiter’s “job” with a $2.50 an hour minimum wage. The inverted yield curve of bond yields implies

2019-06-07T14:57:58-07:00June 7th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Employment Market Weakens, Recession Coming Soon

Will Inflation Return?

     Economist Mohamed El Erian wrote that inflation may increase once cost cuts from the gig economy (Uber, Amazon, etc.) have been maxed out and the supply of unemployed people dries up, and corporations get more oligopolistic. I disagree, I believe: The dominant paradigm of the era is cheap EM labor undermining Developed countries resulting in unemployment, foreclosures, low growth in Developed countries. This force is far more powerful than the inflationary force suggested by Mohamed El-Erian. The fundamentals of EM countries are export subsidies, and excess production funded by local banks under political orders to loan money to companies that are not financially sound, so as to create make-work jobs, etc. Ironically as the trade dispute with China acts

2019-05-22T17:25:26-07:00May 22nd, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Will Inflation Return?

Low Unemployment Yet Declining Interest Rates: Why?

     The Employment report was released today by the BLS. The unemployment rate dropped to a very low percentage of 3.6%, the lowest in 50 years. But factory jobs growth stalled this year. Manufacturing and mining produced the growth of GDP in 2017 and 2018 and now that has stalled. Factory jobs in April declined by 4,000. These good paying jobs are worth more in terms of stimulation and growth than a low wage, entry-level fast food job. The Labor Force Participation Rate has been stuck near 63%, but in 2007 before the crash, it was 66%, which is 4.8% (as a percent of a percent) less than in 2007. If these missing workers reported to the government that they

2019-05-03T15:40:47-07:00May 3rd, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Low Unemployment Yet Declining Interest Rates: Why?

Should Bond Investors Increase Portfolio Duration?

        Yesterday’s pseudo-capitulation by the Fed chief during a speech was interpreted by the market as a sign that the Fed is very close to ending its rate increasing campaign. More experts are tilting towards the possibility of recession next year. If recession comes then yields will drop, in which case investors who own money market funds would miss out on the chance to lock in intermediate term yields. When yields drop deeply then bond issuers refinance (they “call” the bond in) and investors are then forced to reinvest at lower yields. An exception to that is that Treasuries have lifetime restrictions and Munis usually have 10 year restrictions on calling in outstanding debt. Assuming that the paradigm that recessions

2018-11-29T12:12:45-08:00November 29th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Should Bond Investors Increase Portfolio Duration?

The Fed Can’t Afford to Raise Rates

      I calculate the appropriate interest rate by using the ten year Treasury Note’s real yield, now 1.09%, and subtract that from a historical average benchmark of 2.08%. The difference is 0.99%, which is the amount of real increase needed to return to “normal”. However, one “little” problem: we can’t return to what used to be normal because that would require returning to a pre-GFC 2008 crash era when the EU and Japan had far less debt and no zero rate or negative rate programs. A second “little” problem is the extremely weakened ability of workers to go on strike and demand wage increases means that employment (the alleged threat to bonds) is intrinsically weak compared to several decades ago.

2018-11-28T19:24:19-08:00November 28th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on The Fed Can’t Afford to Raise Rates

Improving Labor Market Unlikely to Hurt Low Duration Bonds

    The BLS Employment report was released today showing 134,000 new jobs. Adjusting for 125,000 monthly population growth, of those likely to want to work, implies the net increase was only a few thousand jobs in a nation of 144million job holders and is thus a near zero growth rate. The unemployment rate decreased because less people attempted to participate in the workforce. When the unemployment rate is this high it is a sign of an overheated economy that will fall into recession in a year. Stocks may anticipate this a half year early so if recession come sin 12 months then stocks could crash in 6 months.    100% of the increase in employment went to those with no

2018-10-05T09:49:08-07:00October 5th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Improving Labor Market Unlikely to Hurt Low Duration Bonds

Bond Yields May Have Topped Out

    Yesterday’s dramatic bond market crash may make some people worry about rising rates, but I disagree. First, this year has seen an unusual degree of tax cut stimulus with huge federal deficits. This stimulus acted to make economic statistics including employment, hotter than normal, which resulted in rising interest rates. However, the typical scenario of a big stimulus package is a 5.5% GDP growth, not the 3.2% for the first half of 2018. The fact that the economy is growing 2% slower than it should (based on tax cuts) implies the stimulus may soon fade away and thus reduce the risk of inflation. During the two days before the monthly BLS Payroll Employment report bond yields tend to go

2018-10-04T12:56:32-07:00October 4th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Bond Yields May Have Topped Out