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Unemployment Hits 9-Year Low in November, BLS Report Shows

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off
BLS april 2016

The latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a mixed bag. While the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since 2007, hourly earnings fell.

The U.S. added 178,000 new jobs in November, according to the BLS, which is in line with what economists projected. While the BLS revised job gains in September to 208,000 (up from 191,000), October’s numbers were revised down to 142,000 (from 161,000). Over the last three months, the U.S. has added an average of 176,000 jobs.

The bright spot of the report was the unemployment rate, which dropped to 4.6 percent; economists had expected it to remain unchanged at 4.9. This number is significant for two reasons: Not only does it mark the lowest unemployment rate since 2007, but according to NPR’s Marilyn Geewax, “4.6 percent unemployment is what most economists consider “’full employment.’”

The biggest disappointment of the report was the average hourly earnings, which dropped by 3 cents – a particularly big blow right after wages saw a remarkable 11-cent rise in October. It’s also surprising to see wages drop, considering a low unemployment rate means more competition for workers, inciting employers to raise wages. Still, it’s worth noting that wages have increased by 2.5 percent over the course of the year.

Overall, the latest BLS employment report was a solid one, and this month marks the 74th consecutive month of job growth. As a small business employer, you play a major role in driving economic growth. For resources and advice on hiring and growing your business, I encourage you to visit my small business resource page.

Better-Than-Expected Job Growth in June, BLS Report Shows

July 8th, 2016 Comments off
Businessman draws a graph rising

After disappointing job growth in May, the U.S. economy got a much-needed boost in June, adding 287,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent employment report – and far surpassing economists’ expectations of between 175,000 and 180,000 jobs.

These numbers are also a giant leap from May’s dismal job numbers, which the BLS originally reported as 38,000 jobs and revised to an even more gloomy 11,000 jobs. April’s numbers were also revised to reflect an uptick from 123,000 jobs created to 144,000.

The industries that saw the biggest growth were leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and financial activities.

Wages increased as well this month, going from $25.59 per hour to $25.61 per hour on average, and showing a 2.6 percent increase from a year ago.

Another number that came as a surprise to some was unemployment, which rose from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent – slightly higher than economists’ expected 4.8 percent.

Following two months of disappointing (to say the least) job growth, this month’s report provides a much-needed boost to not only the economy, but the morale of business owners everywhere.

As small business owners, your impact is significant. Take a moment to celebrate this report and use it as motivation to keep doing what you’re doing – hire the right people and continue to give them the resources they need to succeed and move your business forward.

3 Things You Should Know From the December 2015 Jobs Report

January 8th, 2016 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the November 2015 Jobs Report

The new year kicked off on a positive note, keeping up the steady pace with today’s December jobs report release, which exceeded expectations and closed out the year strong.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

Here’s the News You Can Use From Today’s Release:

1. Strong way to close out the year. As a headline from The Wall Street Journal points out: “The U.S. added 292,000 jobs in December, capping [the] second best year since 1999.” With the addition of 292,000 workers to the U.S. workforce in December — which exceeded the 200,000 that economists were predicting — 2015 ended on a solid note. Here’s an official tweet from the U.S. Department of Labor:

2. Previous months were revised up. October and November jobs report numbers were a bit better than we thought they were. 

3. Wages still aren’t where they need to be. Despite December’s — and the year’s — solid economic performance, wages is an area that continues to lag behind.

According to The New York Times:

Despite the improving job market, sluggish wage growth remains a persistent thorn. Wages remained flat in December.

What does that mean for 2016? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the SeptemberOctober and November jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

3 Things You Should Know From the November 2015 Jobs Report

December 4th, 2015 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the November 2015 Jobs Report

Like NBC’s star-studded live musical “The Wiz Live” that aired last night to rave reviews, the November jobs report — which was released this morning — delivered a solid performance and beat expectations.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

Here’s the News You Can Use From Today’s Release:

1. Another month of strong growth. The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, keeping the streak of “solid” and “stronger than expected” jobs reports alive.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held relatively steady at 5 percent. But take a look at how it has changed over time.

2. Will they or won’t they? We are of course referring to the Federal Reserve. If you’re wondering whether the outcome of today’s jobs report will lead the Fed to raise interest rates, you’re not alone and, while there isn’t a guarantee, signs appear to be pointing in that direction. According to The New York Times:

The American economy created 211,000 jobs in November, the government reported Friday, a robust showing that all but guarantees policy makers at the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade when they meet this month.

According to Forbes:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a somewhat stronger than expected November jobs report Friday, with numbers more than solid enough to support a interest rate hike from Federal Reserve later this month.

According to Business Insider:

On Friday morning, the November jobs report paved the way for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate in two weeks.

According to Marketwatch:

The economy produced another sturdy gain in new jobs in November, all but guaranteeing the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates later this month in response to a tightening labor market.

3. Winners and losers. Some industries fared better than others in November.

And speaking of winners, job gains for both September and October were stronger than was previously reported. October’s jobs numbers were revised up by 27,000 (from +271,000 to +298,000), while September’s gains were revised up by 8,000 (from +137,000 to +145,000). That’s a combined total of 35,000 more jobs than previously stated.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the AugustSeptember and October jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

3 Things You Should Know From the October 2015 Jobs Report

November 6th, 2015 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the October 2015 Jobs Report

We may be headed into winter, but today’s jobs report indicates the U.S. economy is heating up. On the heels of a relatively lackluster September, job growth in October surprised almost everyone — including economists — with nearly 100,000 more jobs than initially forecast and is thus far the best month for job growth in 2015.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:

1. Everyone was pleasantly surprised by October’s strong job growth. U.S. employers added 271,000 jobs in October, basically crushing initial expectations of 182,000. According to Business Insider:

The October jobs report was a blowout. Data out Friday morning showed that the US economy added 271,000 jobs in October. It was the strongest pace of employment growth this year, and nearly 100,000 jobs more than the consensus forecast for 182,000.

Headlines from leading news outlets — “Stellar October Jobs Report Blows Expectations Away,” “Jobs Report Crushes Expectations” — had similar sentiments, as did people’s reactions on Twitter.

 

What does this mean for the Federal Reserve and possible interest rate hikes? That remains to be seen.

2. More good news. The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 5.1 percent to an even 5 percent, which can be considered a milestone. According to The New York Times:

At 5 percent, the unemployment rate is very close to what would normally be considered the threshold for full employment by the Fed and many private economists.

Meanwhile, the combined total of August and September revisions takes the previously reported numbers up by 12,000.

3. We’re finally moving the needle on wages. Is it monumental growth? Absolutely not. But is it improvement and are we headed in the right direction? Certainly. According to Business Insider:

Wages grew at the fastest pace since mid-2009, as average hourly earnings rose 0.4% month-on-month, better than forecast.

And according to Fortune:

Average hourly earnings surged 9 cents per hour, much faster than economists were expecting. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.5%, keeping ahead of inflation.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the JulyAugust and September jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

3 Highlights From the September 2015 Jobs Report

October 2nd, 2015 Comments off
jobs report

Like Kanye West’s last-minute surprise show at New York Fashion Week, the September jobs report released this morning turned out to be lackluster. U.S. employers only added 142,000 jobs even as the unemployment rate remained at a steady 5.1 percent, prompting discussions of an economic slowdown.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:

1. Economists — and the economy — aren’t having a great day. If you want to increase the odds of winning the lottery, you might not want to take an economist’s advice. That’s because they were predicting there would be more than 200,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy in September, but the actual number came in at just 142,000. (Womp, womp.)

Here are a few reactions to today’s report.

From the New York Times:

“There’s nothing good in this morning’s report. We had very low levels of job creation, wage growth isn’t budging, and the unemployment rate would have risen if the labor force participation rate hadn’t fallen.” – Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago

From CNN Money:

“It’s a very disappointing report across the board. The U.S. economy is really buckling under the pressure of a global economic slowdown.” – Sung Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands

From CBS News:

“Ugly, really ugly, it’s just hard to find anything good in the report. After last month we could all point to jobs, and say at least they are holding in there. The report is telling us the domestic economy is slowing.” – JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade

2. Is this going to have a domino effect? The question on everyone’s minds today is: What does this say about the global economy and will this impact interest rates? The easy answer is: No one knows … yet. But it is looking a little less likely that the Fed will start raising interest rates in the near future, as was previously anticipated. They may just decide to push it off until next year, according to this report. Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see.

3. Even more bad news (sorry). When it rains, it pours.The August jobs report numbers that were initially reported last month (173,000) turned out to be quite inflated; that number was revised down to just 136,000 jobs. And to add just a little more salt to the wound, July’s numbers were also revised down, though not as drastically.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the June and July and August jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

3 Highlights From the August 2015 Jobs Report

September 4th, 2015 Comments off
3 Highlights From the August 2015 Jobs Report

Like President Obama taking selfies and busting some new dance moves during his recent trip to Alaska, the August 2015 jobs report released this morning was unpredictable and got mixed reactions. The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, which was below expectations, but at the same time the unemployment rate dropped to a 7-year low.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:

1. Let’s celebrate the unemployment rate. No, seriously — the unemployment rate has been slowly but surely moving in the right direction lately, and we hit quite a milestone in August: It’s now sitting at a 7-year low.

2. August numbers were lower than expected and June/July numbers were higher than reported. August numbers — 173,000 — came in lower than the 220,000 that economists were expecting, but as The New York Times puts it:

Although hiring in August was well below the 220,000-job gain that economists had expected, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent, the lowest since early 2008. At that level, joblessness is nearing the level that economists and the Fed consider close to full employment…

And as Forbes puts it:

Just 173,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August, according to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out Friday morning. That’s well below market expectations as well as the 12-month average. However, with the unemployment rate coming in at its lowest level since April 2008, seemingly for the right reasons, and solid revisions to prior months’ payroll count the situation may not be as lackluster as the August figure suggests.

Additionally, June and July numbers were revised up by a total of 44,000 more jobs than were initially reported.

3. Wages went up a little. U.S. hourly wages ticked up in August and showed overall year-over-year growth, which is a positive sign especially given how wages remained stagnant for awhile earlier in the year. According to Business Insider:

We … got some wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3% month-over-month and 2.5% year-on-year.

And even though there’s more to be desired on the wage front,

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the May and June and July jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.