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posted on 07 April 2016

Ridiculous Economic Policy Chart Of The Week- US Worker Weekly Earnings

by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner

Whatever the central bankers and economic policy makers are doing sure is not helping US workers earn bigger paychecks.

The collapse in the growth rate of employee earnings attests not only to the pressure on the wages of existing jobholders, but also to the horseshit, lousy, low-pay jobs the economy is adding while everyone else's weekly pay is stagnating.

Employee Weekly Earnings Are Crashing - Click to enlarge

Furthermore, even the absurd seasonally finagled headline jobs number for March, which everyone treated as great, was terrible. Where in the mainstream media did anyone mention that even that inflated headline number of 215,000 was 34,000 less than the equally absurd February headline fiction of 249,000? The Street talking heads were too focused on the fact that the number beat the consensus by a whole 15,000 - a lousy 15,000 out of 143 million estimated total jobs. My god, that doesn't even register as a rounding error. What's exciting about that when even the reported monthly rate dropped by 34,000?

The Federal Withholding Tax data for the nonfarm payrolls survey week for March had a year to year nominal gain of 1.3%. That compared with a year to year gain of 2.7% in the February survey week. The growth rate in March was less than half what it was in February.

According to the BLS, actual, not seasonally adjusted data showed 2.6 million jobs added in the year ended in February, which was 1.9% growth year over year. The growth rate of withholding tax collections was cut in half in March which tells us that the BLS jobs growth guesstimate should have been cut in half, let's say to 1%. Without going through all the math, with wages stagnant, the economy actually would have lost 487,000 jobs. However, February jobs were also overstated, so the actual job loss in March was probably "only" around 300,000 or so.

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At some point, unless the tax collections rebound sharply, the BLS will have no choice but to reflect reality, and the monthly headline numbers will need to be adjusted down massively, just like they were when the BLS rebenchmarked their data based on 2014 tax data and reset all the numbers for the past 5 years in February.

Taxes don't lie. The BLS numbers are worse than useless - they are often grossly misleading, and only adjusted to actual tax data the following year and for 4 more years after the fact. If you want to know what is really going on with US employment in real time, you can follow the actual Federal withholding tax data weekly in my Pro Trader Federal Revenues reports or monthly in the Monthly Investor Federal Revenues reports.

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