Tag Archives: jobs

Yellen Defends Gradualism

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has been succinct in her testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today. She emphasized that weakness in the first quarter was likely transitory, but still worse than anyone expected.  The Fed needs to be mindful on how much it can write off to weather problems. She also cited ongoing problems [...]

Employment Explodes for July 4th Holiday

Payroll employment jumped by 288,000 in the month of June, with upward revisions to both May and April. April now shows a rise of more than 300,000 as the economy continued to snap back from the winter doldrums.

GDP Drop Expected to Reverse in Q2

Real GDP was revised down to show a 1% decline in the first quarter. Most of that drop was due to a larger-than-expected liquidation in inventories, which is good in that it leaves more room for a rebound in the second quarter. Manufacturing activity has already picked up on the heels of better weather.

Catch-up from Winter Doldrums not Enough

Today’s employment report showed us that the weather did indeed have an impact on hiring in previous months and now that spring is underway (all is relative), we are seeing a catch-up. The drop in the labor force and precipitous drop in labor force participation, however, underscores how far we still have to go. The [...]

Private Sector Recovers Job Numbers, not Quality

Payroll employment jumped 192,000 in March and was revised up by 37,000 for the previous two months; that puts the total number about where we expected it. Private sector employment crossed its previous peak. The quality of jobs generated, however, is not comparable in any way to those we lost. The overwhelming majority of job [...]

Heads up on the February Employment Report

On Friday, March 7, we will get our first glimpse of the February employment report. Our forecast is for 185,000 total nonfarm jobs, 195,000 private sector jobs and a 6.5% read on the unemployment rate; we’re also looking for a slight decline in the number of hours worked, as the unusually harsh winter weather remained [...]

Employment Report Sends Mixed Signals

Nonfarm payrolls rose a tepid 113,000 in January, after rising only 75,000 in December. Revisions to October and November, however, were to the upside, which means we had some cushion on employment gains as we approached the turn of the year. The composition of gains was a bit of surprise given the weather experienced in [...]

Unemployment Claims Trending Lower

Initial unemployment claims dropped 20,000 to a level of 331,000 for the week of February 1. Claims have been trending down from a recent high of 380,000 reached in the week of December 14. The latest move down is a positive sign for Friday’s jobs report, which will provide January data. We expect a stronger [...]

Upside Surprise in Single-Family Home Construction

Construction spending rose a marginal 0.1% in December and was revised down slightly for November. Much of the weakness was concentrated in the public sector. Unusually harsh winter weather likely contributed to the weakness. The upside surprise was in residential construction, particularly single-family home construction,

Winter Chill on Incomes Doesn’t Stop Spending

Disposable personal incomes edged down 0.2% in December, after being adjusted for inflation. A shortfall in farm income and a sharp moderation in wage gains in the service sector accounted for much of the weakness; the softness in the service sector was likely exacerbated by unusually harsh winter weather as the number of people unable [...]