It’s the People

By |2018-01-08T13:52:14+00:00January 5th, 2018|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , |

Why does US healthcare cost so much? Photo: Norbert Kaiser. Source: Wikimedia People complain about healthcare costs all the time. And it’s shocking when you look at what a routine medical procedure costs, whether your Medicare pays, or your insurance company pays, or you’re on your own. And compared with other countries, the US is in a league of its own. We devote about 17% of our total economy on health care, while other wealthy countries spend [...]

Between Jobs

By |2017-06-07T09:55:54+00:00June 7th, 2017|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

Are we working hard, or hardly working? Man shoveling at construction site. Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave Both. The unemployment rate declined to its lowest level since 2001. Employers added jobs for the 80th straight month – the longest such streak on record. Wages are up 2.5% from a year ago – more than the 2% wage gains we were seeing last year, and significantly more than the 1.5% inflation rate. But unemployment fell because people are [...]

Making Stuff Happen

By |2017-05-22T14:13:49+00:00May 19th, 2017|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone? Old shoe factory, Columbus, OH. Photo: Nytend. Source: Wikipedia Since 1989, manufacturing employment in the US has plunged by 6 million workers – over 30%. But this doesn’t mean the US has stopped making things. Employment has fallen, but output – after a setback during the recession – has continued to grow. In fact, the output of stuff made in the US – cars, engines, advanced machinery – is currently [...]

Employmnet Situation – June 2016

By |2016-11-17T15:45:57+00:00July 12th, 2016|Categories: Lagging|Tags: , |

May was indeed an odd outlier in what is otherwise a still favorable trend for the labor market. June nonfarm payrolls surged a much stronger-than-expected 287,000 vs a downward revised and recovery low increase of only 11,000 in May. June's strength is led by a 38,000 gain for professional & business services, a closely watched area that is especially sensitive to changes in labor demand. Telecommunications, which fell 32,000 in May during the Verizon strike, rose 28,000 [...]

Employment situation – May 2016

By |2016-11-17T15:49:04+00:00June 7th, 2016|Categories: Lagging|Tags: |

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 4.7 percent in May, and nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+38,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care. Mining continued to lose jobs, and employment in information decreased due to a strike. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +208,000 to +186,000, and the change for April was revised from +160,000 to +123,000. With these revisions, employment [...]

Employment Situation – April 2016

By |2016-11-17T15:51:16+00:00May 10th, 2016|Categories: Lagging|Tags: , , |

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Job losses continued in mining. Government is also a weak spot in April, down 11,000, with retail also showing weakness, down 3,000 after a series of outsized gains. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was [...]

Employment Situation – February 2016

By |2016-11-17T15:56:12+00:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Leading|Tags: , |

The labor market is adding jobs at a very strong rate. Nonfarm payrolls rose 242,000 in February. Adding to the punch are upward revisions to the two prior months totaling 30,000. A negative in the report is a 0.1 percent decline in average hourly earnings that follows, however, January's outsized 0.5 percent gain. Year-on-year, average hourly earnings are down 3 tenths to 2.2 percent. Another negative is a dip in the workweek to 34.4 hours which also, [...]

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

By |2016-11-17T16:13:48+00:00July 27th, 2015|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , , |

How tight is the labor market? Photo: Douglas Tengdin After hitting 10% in October of 2009, unemployment has fallen to 5.3%. That’s pretty good. But there are still areas where the job market feels week—especially in long-term unemployment. Folks unemployed 6 months or more currently make up a quarter of the unemployed. That ratio has come down from almost 50% in 2010, but it’s still pretty high. That’s one reason why this recovery doesn’t feel very strong. [...]

Employment Situation – June 2015

By |2016-11-17T16:15:23+00:00July 7th, 2015|Categories: Lagging|Tags: |

June's report was softer-than-expected with nonfarm payroll growth at 223,000 with downward revisions totaling 60,000 to the two prior months (May revised to 254,000 from 280,000 and April to 187,000 from 221,000). Softness in payroll growth combines with softness in wage pressures with average hourly earnings unchanged in the month and the year-on-year rate moving down to 2.0 percent from 2.3 percent. Timing distortions tied to the end of the school year, specifically new entrants to the [...]