Disturbing Charts (Update 34)

I find the following charts to be disturbing.   These charts would be disturbing at any point in the economic cycle; that they (on average) depict such a tenuous situation now – 118 months after the official (as per the September 20, 2010 NBER BCDC announcement) June 2009 end of the recession – is especially notable.

These charts raise a lot of questions.  As well, they highlight the “atypical” nature of our economic situation from a long-term historical perspective.

All of these charts are from the Federal Reserve, and represent the most recently updated data.

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Housing starts (last updated March 26, 2019):

Housing Starts

US. Bureau of the Census, Housing Starts: Total: New Privately Owned Housing Units Started [HOUST], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HOUST/, April 15, 2019.

The Federal Deficit (last updated March 18, 2019):

Federal Deficit

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Surplus or Deficit [-] [FYFSD], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYFSD/, April 15, 2019.

Federal Net Outlays (last updated March 18, 2019):

Federal Net Outlays

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Net Outlays [FYONET], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYONET/, April 15, 2019.

State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated March 28, 2019):

State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago

US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, State and local government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes: Income taxes [ASLPITAX], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ASLPITAX/, April 15, 2019.

Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated April 12, 2019):

Total Loans And Leases Of Commercial Banks Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Loans and Leases in Bank Credit, All Commercial Banks [TOTLL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTLL/, April 15, 2019.

Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated April 12, 2019):

Total Bank Credit Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Bank Credit of All Commercial Banks [TOTBKCR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTBKCR/, April 15, 2019.

M1 Money Multiplier (last updated April 11, 2019):

M1 Money Multiplier

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, M1 Money Multiplier [MULT], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MULT/, April 15, 2019.

Median Duration of Unemployment (last updated April 5, 2019):

Median Duration of Unemployment

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED/, April 15, 2019.

Labor Force Participation Rate (last updated April 5, 2019):

Labor Force Participation Rate

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate [CIVPART], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CIVPART/, April 15, 2019.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)(last updated March 25, 2019):

Chicago Fed National Financial Activity Index 3-Month Moving Average

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CFNAIMA3/, April 15, 2019.

I will continue to update these charts on an intermittent basis as they deserve close monitoring…

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2905.58 as this post is written

Charts Indicating Economic Weakness – April 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Throughout this site there are many discussions of economic indicators.  At this time, the readings of various indicators are especially notable.  This post is the latest in a series of posts indicating U.S. economic weakness or a notably low growth rate.

While many U.S. economic indicators – including GDP – are indicating economic growth, others depict (or imply) various degrees of weak growth or economic contraction.  As seen in the April 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey the consensus (average estimate) among various economists is for 3.0% GDP growth in 2018 and 2.1% GDP growth in 2019.  However,  there are other broad-based economic indicators that seem to imply a weaker growth rate.

As well, it should be remembered that GDP figures can be (substantially) revised.

Charts Indicating U.S. Economic Weakness

Below are a small sampling of charts that depict weak growth or contraction, and a brief comment for each:

Total Federal Receipts

“Total Federal Receipts” growth continues to be intermittent in nature since 2015.  As well, the level of growth does not seem congruent to the (recent) levels of economic growth as seen in aggregate measures such as Real GDP.

“Total Federal Receipts” through March had a last value of $228,811 Million.  Shown below is  the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value 8.5%, last updated April 10, 2019:

Total Federal Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, Total Federal Receipts [MTSR133FMS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 10, 2019: 
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MTSR133FMS

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Federal Government Current Tax Receipts:  Personal Current Taxes

Another measure that depicts weak growth is that of “Federal government current tax receipts: Personal Current Taxes.”  Through the fourth quarter the value is $1648.173 Billion Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).  Shown below is the chart, displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value of .9%, last updated March 28, 2019:

Federal government current tax receipts: Personal Current Taxes - Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes [A074RC1Q027SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 11, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A074RC1Q027SBEA

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Federal Government Current Tax Receipts:  Taxes On Corporate Income

Another measure that depicts contraction is that of “Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes On Corporate Income.”  Through the fourth quarter the value is $160.899 Billion Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).  Shown below is the chart, displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value of -39.1%, last updated March 28, 2019:

Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes On Corporate Income - Percent Change From Year Ago

source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes on corporate income [B075RC1Q027SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 11, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/B075RC1Q027SBEA

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The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

A broad-based economic indicator that has been implying weaker growth or mild contraction is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI).

The March 2019 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of March 25, 2019:

The CFNAI, with current reading of -.29:

CFNAI

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed March 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3 (CFNAI three-month moving average) with current reading of -.18:

CFNAIMA3

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; March 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

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Total Construction Spending:  Commercial

“Total Construction Spending: Commercial” is a measure of construction exhibiting a contraction on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis.   This measure through February had a last value of $87,810 Million.  Shown below is the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with a value of -5.6%, last updated April 1, 2019:

Total Construction Spending: Commercial - Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Bureau of the Census, Total Construction Spending: Commercial [TLCOMCONS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed April 11,2019: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TLCOMCONS

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Other Indicators

As mentioned previously, many other indicators discussed on this site indicate economic weakness or economic contraction, if not outright (gravely) problematical economic conditions.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2888.32 as this post is written

The April 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The April 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on April 11, 2019.  The headline is “Raising Minimum Wage Would Cost Jobs, Say Economists in WSJ Survey.”

I found numerous items to be notable – although I don’t necessarily agree with them – both within the article and in the “Economist Q&A” section.

An excerpt:

Nearly half of respondents expected the next recession to start in 2020, while 40% predicted the next downturn will start in 2021.

But the number of economists who say the economy could surprise them for the better nearly doubled to more than 22% in April from the prior month.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 25.80%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 60%.  For reference, the average response in March’s survey was 24.51%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted April 5 – April 9, 2019.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  3.0%

full-year 2019:  2.1%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

full-year 2021:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2019: 3.7%

December 2020: 3.8%

December 2021: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2019: 2.80%

December 2020: 2.83%

December 2021: 2.90%

CPI:

December 2019:  2.10%

December 2020:  2.10%

December 2021:  2.10%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2019: $61.94

for 12/31/2020: $60.48

for 12/31/2021: $60.73

(note: I highlight this WSJ Economic Forecast survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” category)

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I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2884.03 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the April 4, 2019 update (reflecting data through March 29, 2019) is -1.226.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on April 10, 2019 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through April 5, 2019, on a weekly basis.  The April 5 value is -.84:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 10, 2019: 
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on April 10, 2019 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through April 5, 2019, on a weekly basis.  The April 5 value is -.67:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 10, 2019: 
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2878.20 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 1Q 2019 – Notable Excerpts

On April 4, 2019, The Conference Board released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 43, up from 42 in the fourth quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this April 4, 2019 Press Release include:

CEOs remain pessimistic about current economic conditions, with just 14 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 21 percent last quarter. Meanwhile, about 46 percent say conditions are worse, up from 39 percent in Q4 2018. CEOs were also more negative about current conditions in their own industries compared to six months ago. Currently, just 12 percent say conditions are better, down from 21 percent last quarter. However, those who say conditions have worsened rose moderately, from 35 percent last quarter to 37 percent.

Looking ahead, CEOs’ expectations regarding the economic outlook have improved slightly from last quarter. Some 14 percent now expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 12 percent in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, about 42 percent expect economic conditions will worsen, down from 52 percent last quarter. CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries over the next six months were also moderately less pessimistic. Now, 19 percent anticipate an improvement in conditions, up from 14 percent last quarter. Moreover, 37 percent expect conditions will worsen, down from 44 percent in the fourth quarter.

Last month, the Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2019.   Notable excerpts from the March 19 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Softens, Remains Above Historical Average“:

The CEO Economic Outlook Index decreased to 95.2 in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 9.2 points from the previous quarter. Despite this decrease, the Index surpassed its historical average of 82.4. This marks the ninth consecutive quarter where the Index has exceeded the historical average, signaling a continued positive direction for the U.S. economy.

also:

In their second estimate of 2019 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs projected 2.5 percent growth for the year, down from their 2.7 percent estimate in the previous quarter.

Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2895.77 as this post is written

Building Financial Danger – April 9, 2019 Update

My overall analysis indicates a continuing elevated and growing level of financial danger which contains many worldwide and U.S.-specific “stresses” of a very complex nature. I have written numerous posts in this site concerning both ongoing and recent “negative developments.”  These developments, as well as other exceedingly problematic conditions, have presented a highly perilous economic environment that endangers the overall financial system.

Also of ongoing immense importance is the existence of various immensely large asset bubbles, a subject of which I have extensively written.  While all of these asset bubbles are wildly pernicious and will have profound adverse future implications, hazards presented by the bond market bubble are especially notable.

Predicting the specific timing and extent of a stock market crash is always difficult, and the immense complexity of today’s economic situation makes such a prediction even more challenging. With that being said, my analyses continue to indicate that a near-term exceedingly large (from an ultra-long term perspective) stock market crash – that would also involve (as seen in 2008) various other markets as well – will occur.

(note: the “next crash” and its aftermath has great significance and implications, as discussed in the post of January 6, 2012 titled “The Next Crash And Its Significance“ and various subsequent posts in the “Economic Depression” category)

As reference, below is a daily chart since 2008 of the S&P500 (through April 8, 2019 with a last price of 2895.77), depicted on a LOG scale, indicating both the 50dma and 200dma as well as price labels:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)

S&P500 since 2008

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2895.77 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – April 2019

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.

While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these – as well as other recession models – can fluctuate significantly.

The first is the “Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator” from the New York Federal Reserve.  I wrote a post concerning this measure on March 1, 2010, titled “The Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator.”

Currently (last updated April 2, 2019 using data through March) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 27.0796% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 24.6188% probability through February, and a chart going back to 1960 is seen at the “Probability Of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread.” (pdf)

The second model is from Marcelle Chauvet and Jeremy Piger.  This model is described on the St. Louis Federal Reserve site (FRED) as follows:

Smoothed recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. This model was originally developed in Chauvet, M., “An Economic Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching,” International Economic Review, 1998, 39, 969-996. (http://faculty.ucr.edu/~chauvet/ier.pdf)

Additional details and explanations can be seen on the “U.S. Recession Probabilities” page.

This model, last updated on March 29, 2019 currently shows a 3.32% probability using data through February.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated March 29, 2019):

Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities

Data Source:  Piger, Jeremy Max and Chauvet, Marcelle, Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities [RECPROUSM156N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed April 6, 2019: 
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RECPROUSM156N

The two models featured above can be compared against measures seen in recent posts.  For instance, as seen in the March 14, 2019 post titled “The March 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 24.51% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2892.74 as this post is written

Average Hourly Earnings Trends

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Along these lines, one of the measures showing disconcerting trends is that of hourly earnings.

While the concept of hourly earnings can be defined and measured in a variety of ways, below are a few charts that I believe broadly illustrate problematic trends.

The first chart depicts Average Hourly Earnings Of All Employees: Total Private (FRED series CES0500000003)(current value = $27.70):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

Average Hourly Earnings Of All Private Employees

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees:  Total Private [CES0500000003] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES0500000003

This next chart depicts this same measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

Average Hourly Earnings of All Private Employees

There are slightly different measures available from a longer-term perspective. Pictured below is another measure, the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees – Total Private (FRED series AHETPI)(current value = $23.24):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

AHETPI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees:  Total Private [AHETPI] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics;  accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AHETPI

Pictured below is this AHETPI measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

AHETPI Percent Change From Year Ago

I will continue to actively monitor these trends, especially given the post-2009 dynamics.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2890.61 this post is written

U-3 And U-6 Unemployment Rate Long-Term Reference Charts As Of April 5, 2019

Shortly after each monthly employment report I have been posting a continual series titled “3 Critical Unemployment Charts.”

Of course, there are many other employment charts that can be displayed as well.

For reference purposes, below are the U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rate charts from a long-term historical perspective.  Both charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  The U-3 measure is what is commonly referred to as the official unemployment rate; whereas the U-6 rate is officially (per Bureau of Labor Statistics) defined as:

Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force

Of note, many economic observers use the U-6 rate as a (closer) proxy of the actual unemployment rate rather than that depicted by the U-3 measure.

Here is the U-3 chart, currently showing a 3.8% unemployment rate:

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 4-5-19)

U-3 Unemployment Rate

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilian Unemployment Rate [UNRATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UNRATE

Here is the U-6 chart, currently showing a 7.3% unemployment rate:

U-6 Rate

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons  [U6RATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019: 
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/U6RATE

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2889.91 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – April 2019

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment (and, in the third chart, employment) situation.

The three charts below are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 9.6 weeks):

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 4-5-19)

Median Duration of Unemployment

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019: 
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value = 1.305 million):

Unemployed 27 Weeks And Over

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV

Here is the chart for Total Nonfarm Payrolls (current value = 150.816 million):

Total Nonfarm Payrolls

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: All Employees: Total nonfarm [PAYEMS] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019: 
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/PAYEMS

Our unemployment problem is severe.  The underlying dynamics of the current – and especially future – unemployment situation remain exceedingly worrisome.  These dynamics are numerous and complex, and greatly lack recognition and understanding.

My commentary regarding unemployment is generally found in the “Unemployment” category.  This commentary includes the page titled “U.S. Unemployment Trends,” which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2889.56 as this post is written