Archive for March 1st, 2012

Oops … BLS unemployment report not being released until next Friday.

March 1, 2012

OK, I got a bit a head of myself this week …

The December unemployment report was released on January 6 — the first Friday in January,

The January unemployment report was released on February 3 —  the first Friday in February,


So, I assumed that the February unemployment report would be released tomorrow March 2 — the first Friday in March,


The BLS says that The Employment Situation for February will be released next Friday, March 9, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

My analysis and predictions still hold … a bump up in the rate.

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What to look for in next week’s jobs report …

March 1, 2012

Next week’s unemployment report will be quite interesting.

As we’ve posted before, Gallup’s daily tracking report indicated that the unemployment rate was about 9% in mid-February … and has risen to 9.2%. 

Gallup’s mid-month number is usually a good predictor of the BLS’s end-of-month number. 

A good test of whether the books are being cooked is to look at the seasonal adjustment factor being applied to total employment.

In January, the BLS increased its seasonal adjustment factor … so, total employment went from a seasonally unadjusted loss of jobs to a seasonally adjusted gain in the number of jobs … and the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.3%.

Below is the historical data for the past couple of years re: how much the BLS jacks up February’s total employment numbers via seasonal adjustment.

Takeaway: if the seasonally adjusted total employment is more than about 1.18% higher than the non-seasonally adjusted number, you can suspect some book-cooking.

Let’s see what happens …


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Shopping in Singapore is off the wall … literally!

March 1, 2012

Punch line: PayPal seeks to capture the attention of daily subway commuters in Singapore with ‘mobile shopping walls.’

* * * * *
Excerpted from “Shop Right Off The Subway Wall With PayPal”


Online payment service company PayPal is trialing a new mobile shopping initiative that allows customers to point and purchase using QR codes. PayPal has created catalog ‘mobile shopping walls’ in 15 metro stations in Singapore.  QR is short for Quick Response. They can be read quickly by a cell phone.

They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone.

You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt.

Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.

The reason why QR codes are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text.

The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many modern cell phones can scan them.

The large display features Valentine’s Day offers from eight participating retailers. The user will need to first download the PayPal QR code reader app, which scans the barcodes and allow the user to log into PayPal to purchase the items.

QR codes are quickly on the rise with an incredible increase of over 4500% of QR code scans between 2010 and 2011.

These square barcodes have been particularly popular in Singapore due to the rapid growth of smartphone ownership and free accessible Wi-Fi across the city.

Edit by KJM

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