By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From Gains, Pains & Capital
The US markets are in a quandary.
On the one hand, some of the data (GDP growth, unemployment, etc.) suggests the Fed should continue to hike rates. On the other hand, other data points (food stamp usage, labor participation rate) suggest the US never actually entered a real recovery.
More importantly, how can the jobs data suggest such a strong employment situation… when one in seven Americans are on food stamps?
Let us, consider how the Labor Department calculates the unemployment numbers… those same numbers that the ENTIRE stock market reacts to every few weeks.
Every month, the US Government conducts a “Current Population Survey” through which it calls or visits 60,000 US households and asks them questions about their current employment or lack thereof. This usually occurs on the week of the month containing the 12th.