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Economic News

  • Fri, May 03, 2019 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Department of Labor employment numbers appear to have matched or exceeded levels not seen in fifty years, with new jobs growth expanding another 263,000 in April.  (It is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment slipping to only 4.7 percent [down 0.5 basis point from March and a “hefty” 1.8 basis points lower than a year ago in April 2018 when it stood at 6.5%]. The construction industry has added another 33,000 employees to its rolls in April alone.

    Overall unemployment dropped two-tenths to a fifty year low of 3.6 percent.  (As a result “unemployed persons” also slide to 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate continued to slip downwards to 62.8 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” stayed constant at 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up for the year 3.2%.

    See the latest 2019 Workforce Statistics here.

  • Fri, April 26, 2019 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2 percent. The Bureau’s first-quarter advance estimate released on Friday (4/26/19) is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The "second" estimate for the first quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on May 30, 2019.


  • Fri, April 05, 2019 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Department of Labor employment numbers appear to have rebounded from February’s increase, improving with an unexpected 196,000 new jobs.  (It is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment slipping to 5.2 percent [down 1.0 full basis point from February and a “huge” 2.2 basis points lower than a year ago in March 2018 when it stood at 7.4%]. The construction industry has added a net 38,000 employees to its rolls since the beginning of the year.

    Overall unemployment stayed constant at 3.8 percent.  (As a result “unemployed persons” also stayed the same at 6.2 million per the government count).  However, the “labor force participation” rate slide downwards to 63.0 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” also fell but only one tenth basis points to 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up already for the year 3.2%.

    SEE the 2019 Construction Employment/Unemployment vs. Overall Unemployment Statistics

  • Fri, March 08, 2019 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Department of Labor employment numbers seem to suggest the nation may have reached full-employment levels.  February’s increase was only 20,000 new jobs (on the heels of a robust 304,000 in January), but the unemployment number dropped.  (It is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  According to the National Federation of Independent Business, small business job creation broke a 45-year record in February. Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment at 6.2 percent [down 0.2 basis points from January and a “whopping” 1.6 basis points lower than a year ago in February 2018 when it stood at 7.8%]. The construction industry has added a net 22,000 employees to its rolls since the beginning of the year.

    Overall unemployment moved-down 0.2 basis points to 3.8 percent.  (As a result “unemployed persons” dropped a substantial 300,000 to 6.2 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate remained constant at 63.2 percent; suggesting people are coming “off the sidelines” to rejoin the workforce. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” also remained steady at 60.7 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up some 3.4% already.

    The Workforce Statistics Table can be found here.

  • Thu, February 28, 2019 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release today: Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the “initial” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.4 percent.

    The White House Council of Economic Advisers pointed out that America’s economy achieved 3 percent growth for the first time in 13 years in 2018 with the results of the 4th/Qtr. GDP numbers. Its Chairman, Kevin Hassett (who has spoken to the CIRT members at our conferences), made this 3% growth prediction “in the heat of the 2017 tax reform debate and was ridiculed by progressive economists . . . But the evidence of the last two years is that deregulation and tax reform spurred private capital investment exactly when a long-in-the-tooth expansion needed it to avoid recession.”

  • Fri, February 01, 2019 2:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Department of Labor employment numbers showed remarkable strength notwithstanding the partial federal government shutdown for the first month of 2019, with January’s release indicating a robust 304,000 new jobs; nearly identical to the December ’18 level. (It is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction revealed unemployment at 6.4 percent [up (1.3 basis points) with the seasonal winter slowdown vs. December ‘18 figure; but it was down (0.9 basis points) from a year ago in January 2018 when it stood at 7.3%]. The construction industry added approximately 52,000 employees to its rolls in January.

    Overall unemployment moved-up 0.1 basis points to 4.0 percent driven in large measure by the 175,000 federal employees counted as temporarily unemployed.  (As a result “unemployed persons” jumped to 6.5 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate increased 0.1 basis points to 63.2 percent. [This stat measures percentage of the eligible civilians in the labor force. At the end of the recession (June ’09) this rate stood at a healthier 65.7%.  NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” also increased 0.1 basis points to 60.7 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees increased to start off 2019, a trend sustained over the last year.

    You can view the current and historical Workforce Statistics charts here.

  • Fri, January 04, 2019 5:05 PM | Anonymous member

    The Department of Labor’s final numbers for 2018 included in their December release signaled very good news with an increase of 312,000 jobs for the month on the heels of updated increases for both Oct. and Nov. (it is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction revealed unemployment at 5.1 percent [up (1.2 basis points) as the seasonal winter slowdown took hold vs. November’s figure; but it was down (0.9 basis points) from a year ago in December 2017 when it stood at 5.9%]. For the year, the construction industry added approximately 280,000 employees to its rolls.

    Overall unemployment moved-up 0.2 basis points (matching precisely the up-tick in labor force participation) from its 50-year low to 3.9 percent. (“Unemployed persons” jumped to 6.3 million as the government counts).  The “labor force participation” rate increased 0.2 basis points to 63.1 percent. [This stat measures percentage of the eligible civilians in the labor force. At the end of the recession (June ’09) this rate stood at a healthier 65.7%.  NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” held constant at 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees increased in 2018 at a 3.2 percent clip (the first time over three percent in nearly a decade).

    You can view the current and historical Workforce Statistics charts here.


  • Fri, December 07, 2018 5:04 PM | Anonymous member

    The Department of Labor’s “Pearl Harbor Day” release for November 2018 employment indicated continued good news with an increase of 155,000 new jobs for the month (the generally accepted estimate is that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment at only 3.9 percent [up slightly (0.3 basis points) as wintry weather set in vs. October’s figure; but down (1.1 basis points) from a year ago in November 2017 when it stood at 5.0%]. For the year, the construction industry has added approximately 330,000 employees to its rolls.

    Overall unemployment stayed at a nearly 50-year low of only 3.7 percent for a third month in a row. (“Unemployed persons” slipped to 6.0 million as the government counts).  The “labor force participation” rate held steady at 62.9 percent. [This stat measures percentage of the eligible civilians in the labor force. At the end of the recession (June ’09) this rate stood at a healthier 65.7%.  NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” also held constant at 60.6 percent.   The increase of 3.1 percent (first time over three precent in nearly a decade) in the average hourly earnings employees are enjoying also held firm.


    You can view the current and historical Workforce Statistics charts here.


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