Trending Thursday is a roundup of the stories shaping the week and what’s yet to come through the weekend — also taking into account social media reaction. Think of it as a mid-week Monday Morning Cup of Coffee, but with extra caffeine.

Tomorrow the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report the official job count for April, and early estimates say it’s going to be a big disappointment – the second big miss in two months, and ADP is projecting just 169,000 jobs.

Market optimists, meanwhile, expect job creation to rebound sharply in April, to 220,000 from March’s weak 126,000. Still, a 220,000 gain would still be tepid. The consensus range for April is very wide, from 169,000 on the low side to a, frankly, ridiculous 335,000 on the high side. 

Goldman Sachs' (GS) senior U.S. economist David Mericle predicts somewhere in the middle.

“We forecast nonfarm payroll job growth of 230k in April, in line with consensus expectations. While not all major labor market indicators improved in April, jobless claims fell, the employment components of most service sector surveys improved, and weather conditions were more favorable,” Mericle writes in a client note. “If realized, we would view a 230k gain in April as a strong print in light of last month's soft gain of 126k, the broader weakness seen across major economic indicators, and our expectation that the trend rate of payroll gains is likely to be closer to 200k in coming months than the 261k average seen over the last year. We also see some upside risk to our baseline forecast from a calendar effect that should be unusually strong this month.”

(That’s what Mericle says. If it’s much above that, it’s definitely going to be a miracle.)

But the news gets worse when you look at what’s happening in the one state that was the big job creator during most of the post-recession – Texas.

ZeroHedge looked at it in terms of today’s job cuts report and the jobless claims report, and it looks like job losses, too, are bigger in the Lone Star State.

On one hand, the government's Department of Labor reported earlier today that in the past week just 265K people were laid off: the lowest number since early 2000. On the other, private data aggregator Challenger reported that in April, there were a whopping 61,582 job cuts, a 68% surge from March, and up 53% from a year ago. This was the highest monthly total since May 2012 and the highest April total since 2009!

Smoothing out the noise reveals that in the first 4 months of 2015, employers announced 201,796 planned job cuts, which marks a 25 percent increase from the 161,639 layoffs tracked in the first four months of 2014. This is the largest four-month total since 2010.

To say that something does not add up here between the public and private data releases is quite evident.

But while there may be massive confusion when it comes to the data propaganda and the clear agenda behind the seasonally-adjusted, policy-specific government data, there is no confusion when it comes to one thing: the job recession in Texas has not been this bad since the last of the second Great Depression.

Hey mortgage professionals, want to flex your mortgage knowledge in front of a massive audience for free?

Well, the Housing Flair on the personal finance subreddit is now starting to totally blow up. Blowing up from a mortgage industry engagement perspective, anyway.


Want to know how to use Reddit for housing? Executive Editor Jacob “the Tech Man” Gaffney will show you how in this must-read.

#HousinginAmerica is trending on Twitter, driven by the Zillow’s (Z) Detroit stop in its Housing Roadmap to 2016 series of events and roundtables.

Two best tweets in the hashtag are doses of cold water.


At Calculated Risk, Bill McBride takes a look at Las Vegas and how that bellwether market is faring, where sales have jumped 5.1% year-over-year.

This is a key distressed market to follow since Las Vegas has seen the largest price decline of any of the Case-Shiller composite 20 cities. 

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reports local housing market seeing steady growth this spring.

Of note – but you should read his whole report – “Conventional (equity, not distressed) sales were up 16.5% year-over-year.  In April 2014, only 76.2% of all sales were conventional equity.  In April 2015, 84.5% were standard equity sales.  Note: In April 2013 (two years ago), only 57.5% were equity!  A significant change.”

CNBC and Redfin are reporting that the digs for the jet set are really moving. The luxury home market saw a big boost in sales in the first quarter even as prices in the bucket have declined a little.

According to the CNBC Luxury Real Estate Report, compiled by Redfin, sales of homes priced at $1 million or more were up 13% year over year—the strongest year-on-year increase in several quarters. Yet the average sales price fell 0.6% year over year, to an average of $1.83 million.

Nela Richardson, Redfin's chief economist, said the rising sales and softer prices suggest that some homes priced at $1 million or more were overpriced and are now seeing price cuts.

The Fanniegate saga continues, and Graham, Fisher & Co. analyst Josh Rosner catches something about HERA requirements that it appears this current administration appears to be claiming ignorance on, and which the shareholder side against the third amendment sweep seem to think is another smoking gun. 

And finally a little palate cleanser – as we move into the start of the 2016 presidential election campaign, EconoLib reminds us just how unreliable polls are. And not just because polls can be manipulated or spun.

No, the flaw is with the people polled. The problem is, to put it mildly, most people are ignorant.

They cite an example of where the public – which some polls say want higher taxes on top earners – don’t actually know what the top earners pay, and when asked to say how much the top earners should pay end up pegging the rate at less than they pay now.

Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation's top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill.

The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below.The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward.

If you say we should ask the most basic question possible, untainted by any information that might sway opinion, then you are asking for the most ignorant views of the public. Is that what you want---pure untainted ignorance?

The goal for candidates and parties shouldn’t be to accommodate public opinion, they write, but to show leadership in changing public opinion.

Considering the old joke "Think of the average person. Now consider half of Americans are dumber than that person" — maybe there's some wisdom to that?