Happy Jobs Day! Ed’s Daily Notes for September 6th   Leave a comment

Will work for food

Bloomberg: Employers in U.S. Probably Expanded Payrolls at a Faster Pace

Employers probably picked up the pace of hiring in August and the U.S. jobless rate held at a more than four-year low, signaling a strengthening labor market that will help sustain growth, economists said before a report today.

Payrolls rose by 180,000 following a 162,000 gain the prior month, according to the median forecast of 94 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Unemployment stayed at 7.4 percent, matching the lowest since December 2008, they projected.

…The Labor Department’s report is due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg survey estimates for payrolls range from increases of 79,000 to 220,000.

Private employment, which excludes government agencies, also climbed 180,000 in August following a 161,000 advance the prior month, economists predicted.

It is interesting that economists would be so optimistic, considering this:

Gallup: U.S. Unemployment, Seasonally Adjusted

According to the latest Gallup Poll, which uses the same seasonal adjustments which the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses, unemployment in the U.S. rose to 8.6% last month. Admittedly, Gallup doesn’t match the BLS’s numbers exactly, but they do tend to follow over time. I would be more concerned about this number if it wasn’t a one-time jump. If Gallup’s number remains this high next month, or goes higher, be afraid.

Regardless of whether you are optimistic or pessimistic about what the U.S. Employment Report will say today, what will the markets do? I expect anything within the expected non-farm payroll numbers or higher will probably be treated as a negative. With the Federal Reserve meeting on September 17th, and expected to begin tapering QE then, any good news or even status quo will be treated as an expectation of ending QE. On the other hand, a bad report could push stocks higher.

Stay tuned…

Politico: President Obama could lose big on Syria in House

Good news:

If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big.

That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process.

If the Senate passes a use-of-force resolution next week — which is no sure thing — the current dynamics suggest that the House would defeat it.

Fox News: Google fights for right to read your private emails

Google attorneys argued in a California court Thursday that the company needs to systematically read every email sent through its mail system. Scanning email is simply part of the business.

“[Email] providers like Google must scan the emails sent to and from their systems as part of providing their services,” reads a supporting document filed by the Internet giant in the case. “The automated processes at issue are Google’s ordinary business practices implemented as part of providing the free Gmail service to the public.”

Privacy advocates beg to differ.

“They’re also collecting information about their users for other purposes,” Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court told FoxNews.com. He and other privacy advocates argue that e-mail scanning isn’t technically necessary — only fiscally.

“It’s not just for spam [filtering]. It’s clearly for advertising,” he said.

Of course it is.

First, let’s face the fact that it is possible for ANY internet email service provider to actually read emails. One rogue techie can easily access anyone’s email account and have a voyeuristic good time. Most companies would frown on such activity, since their employees would recognize the rogue techie could be accessing their own personal emails. The rogue techie would get fired.

Second, there is no advantage for any internet email provider to have human eyeballs reviewing emails. It would be much better to have a computer going through the masses of emails and look for key words and phrases, and then generate statistics which can then be shown to advertisers. The lone email someone sends to their mistress gets lost in the billions of other emails, becoming less than a statistic.

Third, Google isn’t the NSA. Google gets no profit from discovering illegal or illicit activity in emails. On the other hand, the potential for NSA abuse runs deep. Think J. Edgar Hoover on steroids.

While I am all in favor of privacy, I think the privacy advocates have gone overboard with this one. They should be suing Google for providing information to the NSA, even though Google was complying with an illegal law (how’s that for an oxymoron?) at the time.


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