Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Who is “Not in Labor Force”? Who is Counted as Unemployed?

by Mike Shedlock, Global Economic Analysis:

Reader Denise wants to know precise definition of who is not in the labor force. That’s easy enough. The answer is found straight from the list of BLS frequently asked questions.

Who is not in the labor force?

Labor force measures are based on the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years old and over. (Excluded are persons under 16 years of age, all persons confined to institutions such as nursing homes and prisons, and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces.) The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.

The remainder — those who have no job and are not looking for one — are counted as “not in the labor force.” Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force.

“Looking for a Job” is Key to Understanding Reported Unemployment Number

The BLS description seems logical enough except it ignores those who want a job but did not look in the past four weeks.

BLS questions (shown below) will root those people right out of the labor force.

That raises another question about what constitutes looking for a job. Reading the want-ads in the newspaper or even doing online searches does not qualify as “looking for a job”.

Applying for a job online constitutes looking for a job, so does going on an interview, and so does sending out a resume.

Applying for a job online constitutes looking for a job, so does going on an interview, and so does sending out a resume.

Read More @ GlobalEconomicAnalysis.blogspot.com

Embry: Expect Squeeze In Gold, Price Headed Multiples Higher

from KingWorldNews:

Today John Embry told King World News, “I have been a long time proponent of the idea that we may very well be at peak gold production in the world.” He warned, “We may have seen the peak.” Embry also stated that he believes we are headed towards a, “… classic supply/demand squeeze.” This will send gold, “… to multiples of the current price.”

Embry, who is Chief Investment Strategist of the $10 billion strong Sprott Asset Management, discussed both gold and silver, but first, here is what Embry had to say about the ongoing crisis in Europe: “Over the weekend they accepted more collateral at the Greek Central Bank so they could make their payment to the ECB. So I think they will do what they have to, to keep this thing moving forward.”

“But the thing that’s the big problem, and question is, are the funders, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, etc., do they have the balance sheets and the economic strength to bailout these peripherals in the South that are in horrific condition?

John Embry continues @ KingWorldNews.com

Rule – We’re At Risk Of A Spectacular Collapse Of Confidence

kingworldnews.com / August 6, 2012

With virtually all markets trading higher today, King World News interviewed one of the wealthiest and most street-smart pros in the business, Rick Rule. Rule told KWN we are now at risk of, “… a spectacular collapse of confidence, circa 2008.”

Rule, who is now part of Sprott Asset Management, discussed the enormous problems the West faces. He also spoke about what investors should be doing with their money in this environment, but first, here is what he had to say about the problems the West faces: “We have a serious issue in the United States. At the federal level, the shortfall in the US is $85 trillion and that doesn’t include state and local debt. They are trying to deal with this issue by pumping money into the system.”

Rick Rule continues:

“If we have $85 trillion in net present liabilities at the Federal government level, how is it going to make it better by taking it up to $87 trillion or $88 trillion? I think you see this manifested in the market, Eric. The transaction would seem to be that the Fed, in some way shape or form, adds short-term credit to the banking system, and then convinces the banks to buy government securities.

There are a whole bunch of strange manifestations of this….


Harry S. Dent : Europe Melting Down ,The Markets to Crash after mid August

GoldSeek Radio's Chris Waltzek brings on Bestselling author and Renowned economic forecaster Harry Dent to provide his latest outlook for the US economy and economies around the world and to shed some light on where he sees the markets going. To begin, they discuss the current economic downturn and his book The Great Depression Ahead. Harry S. Dent Jr. is one of the smartest, savviest economic researchers around, and his track record for being RIGHT when conventional wisdom has been wrong cannot be ignored. If you want to make sure you have all your financial bases covered in the months and years ahead, you owe it to yourself to hear what he has to say. Later, they talk about Japan, the housing crisis, aging demographics, and the upcoming Debt Purge as potential fuel for some significant market selloffs.

BNN censoring GATA: Jay Taylor

Knowledgeable precious metals investors will be familiar with Jay Taylor. He’s an accomplished analyst with respect to the precious metals market itself, and also has a thorough understanding of the precious metals miners. Beyond that, Jay is simply a fine gentleman with whom I have been fortunate enough to become personally acquainted.

It was no surprise to learn that BNN – Canada’s self-described “business news channel” -- would explicitly tell Jay Taylor not to even mention GATA’s name when he was being interviewed about the precious metals market. Knowing his integrity, it’s also not surprising that Jay has disclosed being pressured in this manner (even though it likely means he won’t get invited back there again).

It was only a couple of months ago how Ted Butler noted that (for the first time), JP Morgan and the Corporate Media felt compelled to openly deny silver manipulation. Now on the same day that we’re hearing that the CFTC is about to drop its silver investigation, we also hear that Canada’s only business news channel is blatantly censoring GATA – the single-biggest whistleblower on precious metals crime/manipulation.

As I have been writing elsewhere concerning other recent developments in markets and our economies; all of these actions reek of desperation. Making public denials of manipulation when the bankers never felt it necessary before to do so. Killing an open-and-shut investigation into bullion manipulation. Censoring even mentioning the name of the primary “agitator” against this manipulation.

Obviously it gets harder and harder for our governments to pretend that we have a “free press”…

Jay Taylor: Canada’s BNN doesn’t want GATA mentioned on the air


Chart of the Day - Union Pacific (UNP)

The "Chart of the Day" is Union Pacific (UNP), which showed up on Friday's Barchart "All-Time High" list. Union Pacific gapped higher on Friday, posted an all-time high of $126.91 and closed up +2.25%. TrendSpotter has been long Union Pacific since June 15 at $114.87. Last Tuesday, Union Pacific Railroad was named the 2011 Provider of the Year by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Vehicle Services Americas Inc. (WWL). This award evaluates railroad, truck and short sea companies to determine the best overall logistics excellence provider in the areas of quality, performance and customer service. Union Pacific also received WWL's 2011 Provider Recognition Award for Rail Services for best service of all railroad carriers. The award is a formula-based assessment of transit commitment, actual damage-free delivery and a quarterly survey. It is the second year in a row Union Pacific won both awards. On July 26, the Board of Directors of UNP declared a quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share on its common stock to shareholders of record Aug 31, 2012. UNP has paid dividends on its common stock for 113 consecutive years. UNP, with a market cap of $58.2 billion, consists of one reportable segment, rail transportation, and the company's other product lines. The railsegment includes the operations of the corporation's wholly owned subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company's subsidiaries and rail affiliates. The company's other operations include the trucking product line, as well as the other product lines that include technology, self-insurance activities, corporate holding company operations, and all appropriate consolidating entries.


Historically Low Gold OI Levels

I was going to post this into the previous note but then decided that it needed it's own thread.

The Gold Comex is dying. As we speculated late last year (http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/3120/thought-experiment), confidence in the fairness of the CME and Comex is leading investors and traders worldwide to exit the exchange. Growing awareness of the paper game manipulation is surely affecting things but, in my opinion, the biggest driver of this exodus is the failure of the CME Group to adequately backstop customer accounts following the collapse of MFG last October and PFG last month.

The proof is in the numbers so let's go back and review some so that we can look at this in the proper perspective.

3/21/09 - QE is just beginning as the world is stabilizing following the events of 2008. Total gold OI is 388,000.

12/30/09 - Gold ends the year near $1100 and the total OI has risen to 491,712.

11/11/10 - Gold is now $1400 and QE2 has just been announced. Total OI is now 644,738.

1/25/11 - We had the huge and strange story about a massive, deferred month hedge being taken off and total OI fell 81,000 contracts in one day to 499,000. Very strange.

4/8/11 - As silver is set to move to a peak, total gold OI is back up to 514,000.

8/19/11 - Speculation in gold is rising after the S&P downgrade of the U.S. However, banks are looking to cover short positions even faster. Total OI is near 521,000.

12/30/11 - After being ruthlessly crushed from Labor Day to New Year's Day, total gold OI ends the year at 422,070.

2/28/12 - After a 2-month rally in price, total gold OI peaks at 479,044.

And now, here we are. As of Friday, August 3rd, the total OI for gold is just 389,679. The lowest total OI for 2012, down nearly 20% since late February, and the lowest total OI since The Great Financial Collapse of Autumn 2008.

For a change, I'm not going to tell you what I think this means. I want to hear what you think it means.

One more thing, silver OI remains nearly constant in this timeframe. It peaked near 150,000 back in early April of 2011 and has bottomed near 100,000 on several occasions. Curiously, since 6/28/12, the total silver OI has been in a tight, 3000-contract range between 121,ooo and 124,000, never once closing above or below those levels. Then on Friday, as gold OI sank to its lowest level of the year, the total silver OI broke out of this pattern to close at 124,503. Huh?

Anyway, maybe this is much ado over nothing but I find it all very intriguing. I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below.

Baby Boomers Bamboozled: Social Security Fades Into a Dreamtime Haze

from, The Daily Bell:

As recently as 1985, workers at every income level could retire and expect to get more in benefits than they paid in Social Security taxes, though they didn’t do quite as well as their parents and grandparents. Not anymore. A married couple retiring last year after both spouses earned average lifetime wages paid about $598,000 in Social Security taxes during their careers. They can expect to collect about $556,000 in benefits, if the man lives to 82 and the woman lives to 85, according to a 2011 study by the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank. … The shift among middle-income workers is happening just as millions of baby boomers are reaching retirement, leaving relatively fewer workers behind to pay into the system. It’s coming at a critical time for Social Security, the federal government’s largest program. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: If we work hard, government will take care of us.

Free-Market Analysis: Social Security is gradually fading away for most Baby Boomers. What the ’60s generation in both Europe and America doesn’t understand is that government isn’t here to help them. Modern regulatory democracy is supposed to give way to global governance. That’s obviously the plan.

Social Security started out well enough, of course. The first person to receive a check was Ida May Fuller who paid Social Security taxes for three years that came to a total of $24.75. Her very first monthly check in 1940 was for $22.54. And since she lived to be 100, she collected $22,888.92.

Read More @ TheDailyBell.com