Daily Bread for 7.8.24: National Labor Market Adds 206,000 Jobs with Slight Rise in Unemployment

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:25 and sunset 8:34 for 15h 09m 03s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 7.2 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Planning Board meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1776, church bells (possibly including the Liberty Bell) are rung after John Nixon delivers the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

On this day in 1850, James Jesse Strang Is Crowned King:

On this date, James Jesse Strang, leader of the estranged Mormon faction the Strangites, was crowned king; the only man to achieve such a title in America. When founder Joseph Smith was assassinated, Strang forged a letter from Smith dictating he was to be the heir. The Mormon movement split into followers of Strang and followers of Brigham Young. As he gained more followers (but never nearly as many as Brigham Young), Strang became comparable to a Saint, and in 1850 was crowned King James in a ceremony in which he wore a discarded red robe of a Shakespearean actor, and a metal crown studded with a cluster of stars as his followers sang him hosannas.

Soon after his crowning, he announced that Mormonism embraced and supported polygamy. (Young’s faction was known to have practiced polygamy, but had not at this time announced it publicly.) A number of followers lived in Walworth County, including Strang at a home in Burlington. In 1856 Strang was himself assassinated, leaving five wives. Without Strang’s leadership, his movement disintegrated. 

Josh Schafer reports US labor market adds 206,000 jobs, unemployment rate rises to 4.1%:

The US labor market added more jobs than expected in June while the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose, reaching its highest level since November 2021, another sign that the job market continues to cool.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday showed the US economy added 206,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June, more than the 190,000 expected by economists.

The unemployment rate rose to 4.1%, up from 4% in the month prior and the highest reading in almost three years. June’s job additions were a slight decline from May, which saw job gains revised down on Friday to 218,000 from the 272,000 initially reported last month

The skill to take advange of job gains (and benefit the city still more if there should be interest rate cuts) will not be found among Whitewater’s self-promoting “action-oriented” types of fifteen or twenty years ago. The sooner the city turns away from their monkey shines the better.

Indeed, the work of that aged and addled cohort has been worse for the city, in concept and execution, than Monkey Shines the 1988 b-movie horror film:

It’s hard to estimate precisely, but a rough guess is that Whitewater would have been 179.6% better off with a killer monkey than that failed group from yesterday.

What is the rarest animal in the world? The 5 most-endangered species:

Daily Bread for 6.7.24: National Job & Wage Growth Robust in May

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be windy with a high of 75. Sunrise is 5:16 and sunset 8:31 for 15h 15m 15s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 1.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1776,  Richard Henry Lee presents the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

Lindsay Dunsmuir reports US job gains blow past expectations, wage growth quickens:

June 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy created far more jobs than expected in May and annual wage growth reaccelerated, underscoring the resilience of the labor market and reducing the likelihood the Federal Reserve will be able to start rate cuts in September.
The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0% from 3.9% in April, reaching a symbolic threshold below which the jobless rate had previously held for 27 straight months.

The unexpectedly strong report made plain that while the labor market has softened around the edges in recent months, its still-solid performance is set to keep the Fed on the sidelines and taking its time in deciding when to begin lowering borrowing costs.
Financial markets slashed the odds of a September rate cut, reducing the probability to about 55% from about 70% before the report, based on rate futures contracts.

These are national figures; they are not local measures of progress. Whitewater’s old guard wasted a generation by which our city has lagged our nation.

These types would like to tell the city they have answers for the next generation’s needs.

Admittedly, they’re right — they do have answers for the next generation: answers as wrong and counter-productive as the ones they’ve been giving for decades. (If they’d advised and guided correctly, longtime residents now in need wouldn’t be bartering for diapers and small appliances on social media.) If these men have but one skill, it hasn’t been in getting conditions right, but instead in shameless self-promotion while they’ve been getting conditions wrong.

Whitewater will see widespread prosperity when she moves away from her stultifying past.

Greater Sage-Grouse:

Greater Sage-Grouse are one of the most iconic birds of the American West. Each spring across the sagebrush steppe, they gather at mating grounds, called leks. There, males perform incredible courtship displays for onlooking females. Experience the magic of sage-grouse from inside a photography blind on a lek in southern Wyoming with Audubon Rockies’ communications manager, Evan Barrientos.

Daily Bread for 5.17.24: Wisconsin’s April Employment Numbers

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:28 and sunset 8:14 for 14h 45m 29s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 69.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1673, the Jolliet and Marquette Expedition gets underway as Louis Jolliet, Father Jacques Marquette, and five French voyageurs depart from the mission of St. Ignace, at the head of Lake Michigan, to reconnoiter the Mississippi River. The party traveled in two canoes throughout the summer of 1673, traveling across Wisconsin, down the Mississippi to the Arkansas River, and back again.

On this day in 1973,  televised Watergate hearings begin in the United States Senate.

Eric Gunn reports Wisconsin jobs, employment numbers remained strong in April:

Wisconsin jobs and employment held steady in April, extending a strong economic streak that has been in place for more than two years, according to the state labor department.

“Businesses are still telling us that they are looking for workers,” said Dennis Winters, chief economist at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), at a briefing Thursday on the April jobs numbers. “Anybody that’s out there [has] probably got a pretty good chance of getting a job if they’ve got some skills to offer. We expect that to continue, too.”

The projected number of jobs in Wisconsin reached just under 3.05 million in April, while the unemployment rate fell below 3%.

The monthly statistical projections are based on two surveys conducted by the federal government. Projections about the labor force and employment are based on a household survey that asks people whether they are working or looking for work, among other questions. The jobs numbers are projected from a separate survey asking employers how many people are on their payrolls.

Based on the household survey projections, in April nearly 3.14 million Wisconsin residents were in the state’s labor force, either working or actively seeking work, DWD reported Thursday — 65.6% of the state’s population over the age of 16. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate for the month was almost three percentage points higher than that of the U.S., 62.7%.

What a shame it would be for Whitewater to cling to ideas from her failed past rather than join in the favorable trends that other communities are now enjoying. And yet, and yet a few tired men would like nothing more than that a community of fifteen thousand should live as though it served only a few.

More to come.

A Mission to Better Understand Earth’s Polar Regions:

Daily Bread for 5.3.24: National Employment & Inflation

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:44 and sunset 7:58 for 14h 14m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 26.3 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1957,  Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

National job creation slowed last month, with 175,000 additional jobs created. Additional jobs were created, but fewer than the month before. Is there a silver lining in this? Yes, quite possibly. Jeanna Smialek writes The Fed Is Looking for a Job Market Cool-Down. It Just Got One (‘Wage growth and hiring slowed in April, evidence of the job market slowdown that Federal Reserve officials have been waiting on’):

While inflation is the main thing determining when and how much borrowing costs can come down, Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, made it clear this week that central bankers are also watching what happens with hiring and pay.

Mr. Powell emphasized repeatedly this week that the Fed did not specifically target wage growth when setting policy, but he also suggested that pay gains might need to slow further for inflation to come down sufficiently and in a lasting way — which means that Friday’s numbers could be a welcome development.

“We don’t target wages; we target price inflation,” he said. When it comes to cooling the economy, he said, “part of that will probably be having wage increases move down incrementally toward levels that are more sustainable.”

Stock indexes picked up after the report, as investors welcomed the more moderate data as a sign that interest rates may not stay high for as long. Investors in assets like stocks tend to prefer low rates.

These are national job numbers (with implications for the national inflation rate). Overall, these favorable national figures (job creation, relatively low unemployment, and conditions that may cool inflation).

Locally, however, there is a stark truth about municipal economic & development policy: The only reason to return to the policies and leaders of the past would be if someone had no hope of either any possible growth or no hope for ameliorating any possible decline. That is, yesterday’s self-promoting mediocrities would be of value to Whitewater only if nothing anyone did would matter. See Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom and Now is Whitewater’s Time to Seize an Improving National and State Economy.

Only hopelessness among many or the selfishness of a few would lead Whitewater to return to her economic past.

Semi-truck overturns, hits vehicle amid tornado supercell:

Daily Bread for 3.10.24: The Positive Outlook for Wisconsin Employment in 2024

 Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 45. Sunrise is 7:12 and sunset 6:56 for 11h 43m 55s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 241 BC, at the Battle of the Aegates, the Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.

The latest national job-creation numbers were again impressive. See U.S. Employers Add 275,000 Jobs in Another Strong Month (‘Economists are trying to gauge whether forecasts of a slowing labor market were mistaken or just premature. For now, gains are consistent and strong’). Wisconsin’s 2024 outlook is also positive. Erik Gunn reports DWD economist offers an upbeat picture for jobs, employment in 2024:

Wisconsin’s employment and jobs picture got off to a strong start in January, setting records in the number of jobs, the number of private sector jobs, the number of construction jobs as well as overall employment, the state labor department reported Thursday.

“We’ve been setting new employment records most of all last year and continued into this year,” said Dennis Winters, chief economist at the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), in a briefing Thursday on the January numbers. Looking ahead, there’s “nothing, that seems to us, that’s going to turn things down much.”

Data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that nearly 3.05 million Wisconsin residents were employed in January. The figure is derived from a federal government household survey.

From a separate survey that asks employers how many jobs they have on their payroll, the BLS projected there were nearly 3.03 million jobs in Wisconsin, including more than 2.6 million private sector jobs and 140,000 construction jobs.

All four data points marked new records for the state, Winters said.

Hundreds of kangaroos invade golf course in Australia:

Daily Bread for 2.2.24: National Labor Market Soars, Again

 Good morning.

Groundhog Day in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 41. Sunrise is 7:07 and sunset 5:09 for 10h 01m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 53.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1913, Grand Central Terminal opens in New York City.

By Detroit Publishing Co. – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID det.4a24546. Commons: Licensing., Public Domain,

First Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early Spring, and then the federal government reports notably strong national employment gains for January 2024 — much as I love winter, conditions are looking up. Lydia DePillis reports U.S. employers added 353,000 jobs in January

The United States delivered a much bigger-than-expected batch of jobs last month, adding further evidence that the economy still has plenty of steam.

Employers added 353,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent.

After the loss of 14 percent of the nation’s jobs early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the labor market’s endurance for more than three years has surprised economists, who expected factors including the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases to slow hiring more sharply. The strong data on Friday is likely to reinforce the Fed’s patience in beginning to cut rates.

“There’s layoffs happening, but workers are able to find new positions,” said Sara Rutledge, an independent economics consultant. “It’s almost like a ‘pinch me’ scenario.”

Ms. Rutledge helped tabulate the National Association for Business Economics’ latest member survey, which found increasing optimism that the country would avoid a recession — matching a turnaround in measures of consumer confidence as inflation has eased.

The growth in January was all the more impressive on top of upward revisions to the prior two months, which brought the monthly average job gain in 2023 to 255,000. Professional and business services accelerated to pile on 74,000 jobs, while health care added 70,000. The only major sector to lose jobs was mining and logging.

The bumper crop of added jobs, nearly twice what forecasters had expected, mirrors the similarly surprising strength in gross domestic product measurements for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Now’s the time for communities across America to take advantage of this favorable environment. Now’s the time for Whitewater. 

Wildlife photographer Varun Aditya records a pride of lions: 

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Daily Bread for 1.22.24: Wisconsin’s Favorable Employment Statistics

 Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 33. Sunrise is 7:17 and sunset 4:55 for 9h 37m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 89.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM and the Police & Fire Commission at 6 PM. The Whitewater School Board’s Policy Review Committee meets at 5:30 PM, and the full school board enters closed session shortly after 6:30 PM with open session scheduled at 7 PM.  

On this day in 1957, the New York City “Mad Bomber,” George P. Metesky, is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut and charged with planting more than 30 bombs.

Employment levels remain positive for Wisconsin. Erik Gunn reports Wisconsin unemployment remains low in December as jobs continue to grow:

Wisconsin’s monthly employment snapshots finished the year with a new record for the number of jobs and an upbeat assessment from the state’s labor department.

A survey of employers projected a total of nearly 3.03 million jobs in Wisconsin in December 2023, according to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Based on a separate survey of households, DWD projected an unemployment rate of 3.3%, the same as in November 2023. The unemployment rate calculates how many people are not working in the total labor force, which consists of people who are working or actively seeking work.

The data show Wisconsin employers and workers are “just continuing the trends we saw all year,” said DWD’s chief economist, Dennis Winters, at a media briefing Thursday. “And the way things are shaping up for 2024, we expect the same thing.”

The employers survey counted a total of 3,026,500 nonfarm jobs in Wisconsin in December, a gain of 80,000 from a year ago.

There is, however, a requirement to capitalize on the state’s improving outlook: it takes high-quality leaders and ideas to make the most of good times. 

Whitewater has been in this situation before, in 2020 before the pandemic, when local men looked around at a positive national and state economy and bemoaned better times had not reached Whitewater.

See Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom:

“We’ve just had one of the most booming economies that this country’s seen in close to 60 years. And we’re not at the table. We’re not playing. We’re not out there.”

Well, yes. There was a national boom, uplifting many cities, but it passed by Whitewater. What did Whitewater get after the Great Recession, years into a national boom? Whitewater received a designation as a low-income community.  (The gentlemen speaking, these ‘Greater Whitewater’ development men, were by their own accounts at the center of local CDA policy during most of the years that the state and national boom ignored Whitewater.)

Leaders then were responsible for having positioned the city poorly. Once again: it takes high-quality leaders and ideas to make the most of good times. 

Fire breaks out at Russian gas terminal in Baltic Sea port:

Daily Bread for 1.5.24: National Job Growth Remains Strong

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 35. Sunrise is 7:25 and sunset 4:35 for 9h 10m 13s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 35.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority will hold a Visioning & Planning Workshop at 11:30 AM

On this day in 1781, Richmond, Virginia, is burned by British naval forces led by former American general, and traitor to our people, Benedict Arnold.

Talmon Joseph Smith reports U.S. Job Growth Remains Strong (‘The labor market showed continued resiliency in December, with employers adding 216,000 jobs last month, a sign that economic growth remains vigorous’):

The labor market ended the year with a bang.

Employers added 216,000 jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Friday, surpassing the expectations of economists.It was the 36th consecutive month of gains.

Altogether, the U.S. economy added roughly 2.7 million jobs over the past year. That’s a smaller gain than in 2021 or 2022, during the economy’s initial resurgence from the pandemic lockdowns. Yet the gains of 2023 are still stronger than those in the late 2010s.

The numbers are buoying expectations of what has been called a soft landing — in which the economy is able to avoid significant job loss while shifting into a calmer, more sustainable gear, after the years of disorienting volatility that began with the arrival of Covid-19 roughly four years ago.

Many experts caution that data for December is notoriously hard to calculate in any year because of the hiring churn caused by the holiday season.

The unemployment rate, based on a survey of households, was unchanged at 3.7 percent.

Average hourly earnings for workers — a common measure of wage gains — rose 0.4 percent from the previous month and were up 4.1 percent from December 2022.

Layoffs remain near record lows, beneath prepandemic levels.

A mixture of economic data in the past couple of months that appears neither too hot nor too cold has given a lift to both investors and policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who have been pleasantly surprised at the continuing balance between falling inflation and sustainable growth.

Freakishly Smart Falcons Run These [Falkland] Islands (‘The success of wild striated caracaras in a test suggests that the intellects of more bird species may be underestimated’): 

Daily Bread for 12.26.23: More Wisconsin Jobs, Unemployment Remains Low

 Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 51. Sunrise is 7:24 and sunset 4:27 for 9h 02m 44s of daytime. The moon is full with 99.8% of its visible disk illuminated. 

On this day in 1776, at the Battle of Trenton the Continental Army attacks and successfully defeats a garrison of Hessian forces.

  Robert D’Andrea reports Wisconsin adds more jobs, unemployment remains low (‘State reaches all-time high in total non-farm jobs’):

Wisconsin’s labor force continues to grow, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The total number of non-farm related jobs across Wisconsin hit a record high of more than 3 million during the month of November. 

That’s more than 32,000 additional jobs compared to the same time last year, and an increase of 1,700 compared to October, according to an analysis of the preliminary data from the state’s Department of Workforce Development. 

“If you’re a job seeker, this is a fantastic time. If you’re trying to hire, it’s a little tougher,” DWD economist Scott Hodek said Thursday. “That’s why DWD and the state are doing so many things to try and get everybody into the labor force and skilled-up as much as possible.”

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent last month, up a tenth of a percent from October.

That’s lower than the national average of 3.7 percent. And it remains far below the average of the last three decades.

Large explosion in Crimea as Ukrainian airstrike hits Russian warship:

Daily Bread for 11.3.23: National Hiring Slows but Remains Solid

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 52. Sunrise is 7:32 and sunset 5:44 for 10h 12m 00s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 66.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 2014, One World Trade Center officially opens in New York City, replacing the Twin Towers after they were destroyed during the September 11 attacks.

By King of Hearts – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Lauren Kaori Gurley and Abha Bhattarai report U.S. economy adds 150,000 jobs in October, slower but solid growth (‘The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent. Tempered job growth reflected the UAW strikes against the Big Three auto companies’):

This year, the labor market has been undergoing a notable cool-down, across many sectors, from its red hot peak after the pandemic when employers rapidly created millions of jobs to keep up with pent-up consumer demand.

October’s job gains mark the second lowest increase since 2020, and jobs figures for August and September were revised down by 101,000. Wage growth moderated slightly in October, rising by 4.1 percent over the previous 12 months to $34.00 an hour.

“This is still one of the best labor markets for workers that we’ve seen relative to the last 30 years,” said Justin Bloesch, a professor of economics at Cornell University. “But it is definitely less hot than it was last year.”

Teen solves Rubik’s Cube while skydiving, nabs Guinness World Record