Economic Indicators

November Jobs Report: No Cause for Celebration or Concern

November’s national Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was marginally weaker than expected. The number of new jobs reported for the month came in at 155,000, lower than the expected 190,000. Otherwise the report was in line with expectations, the headline U3 employment rate coming in at 3.7 percent for the third month in a row. Health care, manufacturing, retail, transportation and business services all added employment with the other sectors essentially flat. No sector was a notable job loser. While the U3 held steady, the broadest measure of labor underutilization, U6, ticked up only slightly to 7.6 percent. On the other hand, average hourly earnings were marginally higher, a 3.1% increase year-over-year. Perhaps most notably, the number of long-term unemployed fell substantially, 120,000 to 1.3 million who have been jobless for 27 weeks or longer. Interestingly, the knee-jerk equities markets pretty much ignored the report as they opened on December 7. With the nation essentially at full employment, the report appears to have offered little cause for either celebration or concern. A marginally weaker than expected new jobs report will add a little fuel to the argument that the economy is slowing somewhat. But it is also clear that the labor market is still in very good shape. The report could give those in the Federal Open Market Committee hesitant to vote for raising rates some support for pausing the rate hike process. It is not weak enough to rule out a hike, but it does add some uncertainty to predicting the Committee's actions.  The report is not weak enough that it would rule out a hike, but it does add some uncertainty to predicting their action. About the Author Tom Cunningham holds a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and [...]

2018-12-07T14:09:20+00:00December 7th, 2018|Blog, Economic Indicators|

Job Growth on a Roll; U.S. at Full Employment

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report for October was extremely strong. The November 2 release reported the U.S. added 250,000 jobs in the month, 31-plus percent more than the 190,000 expected. The other highlight number, hourly earnings, also grew substantially at 3.1 percent better than the average hourly wages reported in October 2017 – although the number is somewhat suspect given last year’s unusual decline in wages due to Hurricane Harvey. […]

2018-11-02T14:47:21+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Blog, Economic Forecasting, Economic Indicators|

Florence Distorts Job Numbers; Labor Market Remains Strong

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics The headline numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) September jobs report suggest a mixed employment situation. New jobs came in at just 134,000, well below the expected 180,000, while that headline unemployment rate, U3, fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent, slightly lower than the 3.8 percent expected. […]

2018-10-23T17:31:16+00:00October 9th, 2018|CECL, Economic Forecasting, Economic Indicators|

August Report Positive on Jobs and Earnings

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics The September 7 national Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a net gain of 201,000 jobs for the month of August, 10,000 more than expected. It’s a strong number, if somewhat compromised by the lower than expected 157,000 jobs reported for July as well as a downward revision of 50,000 jobs to the combined May and June reports. […]

2018-10-31T09:09:08+00:00September 7th, 2018|Economic Indicators|

July Jobs: Below Expectations

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics July jobs came in below expectations. The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics reports released today showed 157,000 jobs were created in July versus a projected 190,000. However, upward revisions to previous months’ figures were notable, adding 59,000 jobs. Hiring was in business and professional services, manufacturing, and health care. Other sectors were essentially unchanged.   […]

2018-10-31T09:24:54+00:00August 3rd, 2018|Economic Forecasting, Economic Indicators|

June Jobs: Good Numbers, Subject to Misinterpretation

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics  This month’s national Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) features a substantial increase in jobs, but the release is getting mixed reviews. The U.S. added 213,000 jobs, well above expectations of around 190,000 – and another 37,000 in revisions to the April and May counts. Still, the headline unemployment rate ticked up from 3.8 to 4 percent.  […]

2018-10-31T09:32:50+00:00July 7th, 2018|Economic Indicators|

Joy Over Job Numbers Tempered by Trade War Concerns

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics Dateline: June 1, 2018 … This morning’s U.S. Employment Situation report revealed an uptick from previous months in the number of new jobs created. The figure of 223,000 new jobs was well above the 190,000 tally expected. […]

2018-10-23T23:46:43+00:00June 1st, 2018|Economic Indicators|

March Jobs: Out Like a Lamb

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics Consistent with the old maxim, “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” the March Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report tempered February’s big gains with a net job creation figure of just 103,000, well below the expected 193,000. Given February’s numbers, some giveback was expected, though not so substantial.  […]

2018-10-24T11:24:51+00:00April 6th, 2018|Economic Forecasting, Economic Indicators|

February Jobs Report: Stunning!

Guest blog by Dr. Tom Cunningham, Economist and MST Advisory Services, Senior Advisor- Economics The February U.S. employment report came a week later than the usual first Friday of the month, but the figures proved worth waiting for. It showed a gain of 313,000 jobs over the month, well above the 205,000 expected. The two previous months were revised upward as well. All in all, it was a report that earned being described as “stunning.”  […]

2018-10-24T12:03:28+00:00March 9th, 2018|Economic Indicators|