Tag Archives: labor market

Yellen’s Big Test

Yet another round of market jitters, triggered by plummeting oil prices (OPEC has lost control of the oil market) and related problems in the high-yield bond market have raised questions about whether the Federal Reserve will actually pull the trigger and finally lift short-term interest rates from the zero bound. The moves we saw overnight [...]

Employment Gains Cinch Liftoff

Payroll employment jumped 211,000 in November and was revised up significantly for October and September. Gains were broad-based. The only major exceptions were mining, which continues to be hammered by low oil prices, and manufacturing, hit by the strong dollar and overhang of inventories. The good news is that the economy is more than absorbing [...]

Employment Data Forecast for November

Payroll employment is expected to rise by 185,000 in November after surging a surprising 271,000 in October. That would bring trend job creation close to a 200,000 norm. Private employment is expected to increase by 180,000,

Housing Starts Disappoint

In October, housing starts slipped to a 1.06 million unit pace, nearly 60% below household formation. This is causing acute shortages for those looking for a place to live, particularly to rent,

Catch-up in October Employment Seals the Deal

Payroll employment surged by 271,000 in October, reversing the weakness we saw over the summer. Moreover, gains were broad-based in everything from professional services, which include entry-level workers, to construction, retail, food services and hospitals.

Primed for Disappointment?

Payroll employment is expected to rise by 165,000 in October, a little better than September but still well below the almost 200,000 per month average for the last year. Private payrolls are expected to rise by 150,000. Hiring for workers needed to assemble and deliver packages for the holiday season is expected to be a [...]

Construction Gains Solid, Only in Key Sectors

Construction spending rose 0.6% in September, a little more than expected. Gains in multifamily construction in particular continued to substantially outpace gains in the single-family market. We also saw solid gains at auto dealers, which is not surprising given the recent surge in sales,

Inflation and Wages Still Muted

Personal income and outlays both rose an inflation-adjusted 0.2% in September. Falling prices at the gas pump continued to buoy spending. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which more accurately measures inflation than the consumer price index (CPI), fell by 0.1%.

Janet Yellen’s Punk Rock Moment

The Clash at the Fed: Watching the Federal Reserve and its communications regarding liftoff [the Fed’s term for exiting the zero bound on short-term interest rates] and initiating the first rate hike in nearly a decade is much like listening to the ambiguity in the 1981 song by the punk rock band The Clash. Should I [...]

Minutes Point to Emerging Fed Consensus

As we expected, the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) September meeting show members are much more ready to move than the September statement suggested. The Fed’s balance sheet will be used to calibrate policy and will stay elevated for longer to cushion against external shocks after liftoff. There is a growing consensus [...]