37. Will the US unemployment rate (now 3.7%) be above 4% in November 2023?
resolved Dec 8

This is question #37 in the Astral Codex Ten 2023 Prediction Contest. The contest rules and full list of questions are available here. Market will resolve according to Scott Alexander’s judgment, as given through future posts on Astral Codex Ten.

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bought Ṁ1,000 of NO

Who resolves these? I see other objective questions from ACXBot have resolved, rather than waiting for Scott's judgement.

This one resolves NO - unemployment in November was 3.7%.


predicted YES

@AaronBreckenridge It is headed up and next month is the one that counts.

predicted NO

@BTE Of course. We’ll have to see what the impact is on retail. Generally unemployment trends lower over the holiday season, but there’s no guarantee

bought Ṁ10 of NO

US Unemployment Rate is at 3.80%, compared to 3.80% last month and 3.50% last year. This is lower than the long-term average of 5.71%.

The trend is stable and slightly moving down.
So, by next month, it will not go above 4%

bought Ṁ100 of YES

Fed's hellbent on getting to 2% inflation. Most recent jobs data reported a jump to 3.8% unemployment higher than consensus of 3.5%. Labor is gonna continue to soften as the economy prepares for landing.

Money Printer GIF by iTrendz Trading
predicted YES

Currently back at 3.7% and rising faster than expected.

bought Ṁ200 of NO

@BTE Your bets are overconfident IMHO. It's a noisy figure that had fallen in the preceding two readings before the latest increase, and to one decimal place the current level was reached on two other occasions in the past 12 months. - the 12 month maximum is yet to be exceeded. Very difficult to infer a trend from this let alone compare to the expected trend.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington You are correct I did buy too much. Sometimes my probabilities lag so I buy a couple times and it doesn’t change and then all of a sudden I realize I was buying YES 20 points higher than I wanted to.

bought Ṁ50 of NO

@BTE Ah yes I've seen that bug before 😬

bought Ṁ1,000 of NO

@chrisjbillington It was reported 3.9% today. So is this question about today’s number or next month’s??

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington Cause if it’s actually next months number this market is a great risk at the moment. But I need to know! Where do we find that detail??

sold Ṁ329 of NO

@BTE this is an ACX question so it will depend on what SA meant, but the natural way to interpret would be for the report issued covering November, meaning it will be based on the next report issued in December. I think these are rounded to 1 significant digit, so it would need to be 4.1% next month for YES.

predicted NO

@AlQuinn FYI my interpretation would say that 4.0 would be above 4 because I believe the number is truncated and that was my instinctual read on it but I would accept Scott going either way if it is on the nose.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

@ZviMowshowitz Looks rounded, not truncated. See "Summary table A"

6506 unemployed / 167728 civilian labour force = 3.879%

@chrisjbillington Ah well, then I hope we would use the actual calculated number, not the rounded press release value (though I sold out so no dog in this fight anymore; this looks fairly priced currently)

Ihe e

predicted YES

@ShadowyZephyr Say what??

predicted NO

@BTE The AI-generated cover image for the market

So far, instead of going up, it’s gone down, while inflation has stayed largely under control. It does seem more likely than not it will get above 4% anyway as the Fed keeps raising rates, but it keeps not happening. I’m down at more like 60% that this happens. I bought M100 of NO, which knocked it to 70%.

- Zvi Mowshowitz

bought Ṁ100 of YES

Seriously, this is basically the only benchmark for the fed at the moment. There is a better chance we have 10 percent or greate interest rates than less than 4 percent unemployment.

bought Ṁ100 of YES

Unless the fed reverses tact and starts cutting rates this is happening. This is one of the feds primary benchmarks for deciding when to stop raising and 4 percent ain’t high enough.