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Economic News

  • Tue, April 07, 2020 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Labor Department job numbers confirm what was painfully evident and widely reported, the unemployment numbers have leaped in the midst of the COVID-19 (Wuhan) pandemic in March with a DECREASE of 701,000 jobs for the month. (It is generally accepted that a range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month are needed just to absorb the expanding demographics in the nation).  Construction non-seasonally adjusted figures were also hit by the downturn with unemployment climbing to 6.9 percent [a jump of 1.4 basis points above February, and up 1.7 basis points from a year ago in March 2019 when it stood at only 5.2%].  In March 2020, employment in the construction industry contracted by some 29,000 positions. [Over the prior 12-months, it had expanded by 211,000].

    The overall unemployment figure surged to 4.4 percent, up 0.9 basis points in a month.  (“Unemployed persons” also spiked 1.4 million to a total of 7.1 million per the government count).  Conversely, the “labor force participation” rate tumbled down 0.7 basis points to 62.7 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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” fell by 1.1 basis points to 60.0 percent.  The only bright spot reported was average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased up to 3.1% (over the last 12-months). [This may simply reflect that those hanging onto to jobs saw small hourly increases, while vast numbers were furloughed or temporarily unemployed during the pandemic imposed downturn].

    Workforce Statistics Chart

  • Fri, March 06, 2020 10:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The newest Labor Department job numbers indicate a surprising surge in February on the heels of a solid start to 2020, with an increase of 273,000 jobs for the month. (It is generally accepted that a range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month is needed to absorb the expanding workforce). Even the non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed strength with unemployment at 5.5 percent [only 0.1 basis point above January, BUT down 0.7 basis points from a year ago in February 2019 when it stood at 6.2%]. In the first two months of 2020, employment in the construction industry has expanded by some 90,000 positions.

    The overall unemployment figure slipped to 3.5 percent, a record 50-year low. (“Unemployed persons” remained at 5.8 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” rate also ticked-up to 63.4 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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” improved to 61.1 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees again improved/increased at 3.0% (over the last 12-months).

    SEE more Workforce Statistics.

  • Fri, February 07, 2020 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The newest Labor Department job numbers indicate a solid start to 2020, with an increase of 225,000 for the month of January. (It is generally accepted that a range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month is needed to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved up to 5.4 percent [an increase of 0.4 basis point from December, BUT down a full 1.0 basis point from a year ago in January 2019 when it stood at 6.4%].  In the first month of 2020, employment in the construction industry expanded by about 20,000 positions.

    The overall unemployment figure adjusted to 3.6 percent, which is near the record 50-year low.  (“Unemployed persons” remained at 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate also held steady at 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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 stayed the same at 61.0 percent.  Average hourly earnings for employees again improved/increased at 2.9% (over the last 12-months).

    SEE the Workforce Statistics Table.

  • Thu, January 30, 2020 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.1 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 3). The "second" estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on February 27, 2020.


  • Fri, January 10, 2020 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Labor Department job numbers reconfirmed a strong finish to 2019, with an increase of 145,000 for the month of December. (A level at the generally accepted range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved up to 5.0 percent with the onset of winter [an increase of 0.6 basis point from November, BUT down 0.1 basis point from a year ago in December 2018 when it stood at 5.1%].  During 2019, employment in the construction industry expanded by 151,000 positions.

    The overall unemployment figure remained at 3.5 percent, or at record 50-year lows.  (“Unemployed persons” went stayed at 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate also remained steady at 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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 the same at 61.0 percent.  Average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at 2.9% (over the last 12-months).

    SEE Workforce Statistics.

  • Tue, December 10, 2019 1:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Labor Department job numbers showed a significant increase of 266,000 for the month of November. (A level well above the generally accepted range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved up to 4.4 percent with the onset of colder weather [an increase of 0.4 basis point from October, as well as being up 0.5 basis points from a year ago in November 2018 when it stood at 3.9%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady, while unemployment ticked-up to 428,000.

    The new unemployment figure of 3.5 percent pushed record 50-year lows.  (“Unemployed persons” went down one-tenth to 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate also slipped one-tenth to 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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 the same at 61.0 percent.  Average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at 3.1% (over the last 12-months).

    SEE Workforce Statistics Table here.

  • Fri, November 01, 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, the Labor Department reported total number of jobs increased 128,000 for the month of October. (This just about hit the generally accepted range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved up to 4.0 percent with the start of cooler weather [an increase of 0.8 basis point from September, but also up 0.4 basis points from a year ago in October 2018 when it stood at 3.6%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady, while unemployment ticked-up to 398,000.

    The new unemployment figure of 3.6 percent stayed at near a 50-year low.  (“Unemployed persons” went up one-tenth to 5.9 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate actually improved one-tenth to 63.3 percent. [HOWEVER NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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 the same at 61.0 percent.  Average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at 3.0% (over the last 12-months).

    See the Workforce Statistics here.

  • Fri, October 04, 2019 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The just sworn in U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, was greeted with good news as the Department reported job growth expanded 136,000 for the month of September; this on the heels of a 38K upward revision to August figures. (September was just above the generally accepted approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved down to only 3.2 percent [or minus 0.4 basis point from August, vs. being down 0.9 basis points from a year ago in September 2018 when it stood at 4.1%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady, while unemployment slipped to 319,000.

    The new unemployment figure of 3.5 percent hit a 50-year low not seen since 1969.  (“Unemployed persons” dropped to 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate actually remained at 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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” however improved one-tenth to 61.0 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at just under three percent or up 2.9% (over a 12-month rolling basis).

    See the Workforce Statistics here.

  • Fri, September 06, 2019 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Department of Labor reported new jobs growth expanded at 130,000 in July. (Just at the generally accepted approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved down to 3.6 percent [or minus 0.2 basis point from July, vs. being up 0.2 basis points from a year ago in August 2018 when it stood at 3.4%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady.

    Overall unemployment remained at 3.7 percent again bucking the labor force participation drag.  (“Unemployed persons” dropped one-tenth to 6.0 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate actually improved two-tenth to 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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 improved two-tenth as well to 60.9 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees remained up 3.2% (over the past 12-months).

    See the Workforce Statistics here.

  • Fri, August 02, 2019 9:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, the Department of Labor reported new jobs growth expanded at 164,000 in July. (This was slightly above the generally accepted approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment move down to 3.8 percent [or minus 0.2 basis point from June, while actually up 0.4 basis points from a year ago in July 2018 when it stood at 3.4%].  During the month, the construction industry remained approximately even for total employment rolls.

    Overall unemployment remained at 3.7 percent bucking the labor force participation drag.  (“Unemployed persons” added one-tenth to 6.1 million per the government count).  As noted, the “labor force participation” rate improved one-tenth to 63.0 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, 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” improved one-tenth as well to 60.7 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up for the year to 3.2%.

    Workforce Statistics Table

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