Employment Data – Things are Looking Up (at least for some)

July 28, 2014

Employment Data – Things are Looking Up (at least for some)

Over time, I have focused on employment data beyond the unemployment rate and have suggested our readers do the same to get a better sense of the employment picture.  Seems more folks recognize that the rate alone can be misleading as can the number of employed people.  This week we offer an excerpt from the Fed, some data insights around recently released State level employment data (encouraging our readers to look at the States and municipalities they care about v. US-level data) and include a note from the Illinois Policy Institute entitled “Jobs and Growth.”   I also encourage our readers to keep an eye on wage data and Labor Underutilization Rates.

Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-28-2014-employment-data-things-are-looking-up–at-least-for-some

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Funding Infrastructure, CA Drought (Again) and Interest Rates

July 21, 2014

Funding Infrastructure, CA Drought (Again) and Interest Rates

I know I should not be surprised by inaction and political gamesmanship, but I continue to be amazed how our elected officials do not act in the best interest of their constituents.   A brief review of recent public policy developments that impact municipalities illustrates a range of techniques that politicians use to avoid addressing serious issues.  Without saying more, I would like to simply offer up an initiative for term limits for the House and Senate.  Maybe if they didn’t make a career of it they would get things done and go home! 

Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-21-2014-funding-infrastructure-ca-drought–again–and-interest-rates

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Another View of Employment Data & Contributing (or Worsening) the US Trade Deficit

July 14, 2014

Another View of Employment Data & Contributing (or Worsening) the US Trade Deficit

This week we take a look at some employment data and offer insights from our friends at Connolly Insights. We then take a closer look at the US trade deficit and GDP contributors (and detractors).

Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-14-2014-another-view-of-employment-data-contributing–or-worsening–the-us-trade-deficit

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NJ’s Pension Issue, A Hospital Note and Employment Data

July 7, 2014

Hoping everyone had a great holiday weekend. This week, I start with a view on New Jersey’s pension mess and briefly revisit the GDP decline for the first quarter (last time until second quarter data is released). Mike Craft will then drill down into local employment statistics.

Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-7-2014-nj-s-pension-issue-a-hospital-note-and-employment-data

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Population Shifts and Those Employed, A Business Climate Ranking Misses GDP Growth and the Climate out West

June 30, 2014

Population Shifts and Those Employed, A Business Climate Ranking Misses GDP Growth and the Climate out West

Last week saw the release of revised (yet again) first quarter GDP numbers and, in case you missed it, the numbers were revised downward (again) to (2.9%).  Don’t fret, according to official commentary, the weather was, once again, to blame.  In addition to the weather being a primary culprit of this dismal result, the government also reported that health care expenditures didn’t reach levels anticipated and, as such, was a drag on GDP.  Staying apolitical, two points to consider: first, wasn’t the ACA supposed to drive down costs and, second, has anyone else seen the medical insurance cost increases being passed on by the insurers?  Our firm is lucky to be part of a group that has serious bargaining power (over 100,000 lives) and our average increase is just under 10%.  I guess the good news is that we can anticipate some level of growth in GDP next year!

Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/6-30-2014-population-shifts-and-those-employed-a-business-climate-ranking-misses-gdp-growth-and-the-climate-out-west

 

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Wages are Weak and A Correlation Gone Bad

June 23, 2014

Wages are Weak and A Correlation Gone Bad

I want to start this week with a powerful quote, one that I am thinking will become part of these commentaries on a regular basis as the point is so obvious yet often forgotten.  While the quote speaks to States, the statement rings ever so true as you look to the municipalities within the States as well.

… these United States are not just one nation indivisible.  They also are 50 polities, 50 economies, somewhat sovereign states that are similar enough to be comparable and different enough to make comparisons educational.  Thomas Donlan, The States of the Nation, Barron’s (6/16/2014). Emphasis supplied. 

This week, we take a look at recently released income-related data and distress-related data and changes in correlations as unearthed by my colleague Mike Craft.  This commentary may print longer than usual due to the number of charts. 

 Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/6-23-2014-wages-are-weak-and-a-correlation-gone-bad 

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A Word on Louisiana, a Look at Trade Deficits, Europe and State Exports and Housing Delinquencies – See more at: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/6-9-2014-a-word-on-louisiana-a-look-at-trade-deficits-europe-and-state-exports-and-housing-delinquencies#sthash.ufRYilMg.dpuf

June 9, 2014

Last week, the Louisiana legislature unanimously passed legislation (imagine that at the Federal level) requiring muni issuers in the State comply with 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act. The legislation also required LA issuers to do a few other things and have their auditors make sure issuers are fulfilling their record keeping duties and review EMMA to determine if the issuer is complying with their disclosure agreements. The bill awaits Governor Jindal’s approval.

- See more at: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/6-9-2014-a-word-on-louisiana-a-look-at-trade-deficits-europe-and-state-exports-and-housing-delinquencies#sthash.ufRYilMg.dpuf 

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