The Good News Economist

When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Unemployment rate remains steady at 5.3% as US economy adds 215,000 jobs

The US economy continues to add jobs... The US economy added 215,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3%, meeting expectations.

So far this year, job gains have averaged 208,000 a month.  That's about 1.5 million new jobs this year thus far.

“...yet another solid employment report”, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

Additionally last week, applications for unemployment benefits increased by a meager 3,000 to about 270,000. The four-week average dropped to 268,250, close to such low levels not seen for nearly 15 years.

Such near-historic lows point to a healthy job market, according to economists. “Initial claims for unemployment insurance have been below 300,000 for 22 straight weeks, the longest such stretch since 1973,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services. “Claims are running at a pace consistent with monthly job growth of better than 200,000.”

This additional report of an increase of more than 200,000 jobs implies a continued downtrend in unemployment, according to Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics. Such a downtrend would reinforce the Fed’s assessment of the jobs market and recent employment gains as “solid” and get the unemployment rate to within the 5% to 5.2% range that most Fed officials consider to be consistent with "full employment."

source:  ycharts.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Economy Finishes Vigorously: Evidence is Overwhelming

Gross domestic product soared 5% on an annual basis in the third quarter -- that according to the US government report on GDP this week. It was icing on the cake for an economy that is now humming along.

To put that in perspective, it is the strongest quarter of growth since 2003.  That's right: the best quarterly growth in 11 years!

"...There is no doubt the economy has been great this year," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC.

Others on Wall Street agree and continue to send the stock market to record highs with the Dow index now crossing 18,000 for the first time ever.

Growth came from all major segments with business investment, consumer spending, housing, exports and government spending all showing signs of robust strength in this week's report.

All of those healthy reports explain why hiring has increased dramatically this year. Employers added 321,000 jobs in November, making 2014 the strongest year for job growth since 1999.  Again -- underscore this and make no mistake: this year has been the best year for job growth in 15 years!

Finally...for the first time in seven years, more than half of Americans think the economy is in good shape, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday. That marks a big improvement from October when just 38% of Americans said economic conditions were somewhat or very good.

Happy, Happy Holidays!

GNE


Thursday, October 30, 2014

U.S. economy grew at 3.5 percent in 3rd quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a very solid annual rate of 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, propelled by solid gains in business investment, export sales and the biggest jump in military spending in five years.

The Commerce Department says that the third quarter result followed a 4.6 percent rebound in the second quarter of 2014. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

All Job Losses During The Great Recession Have Been Erased

It has been way too long since my last post.  Sorry folks!  But these numbers -- many just published by Factcheck.org -- are well worth passing on to everyone:

§  All job losses during the great recession have been erased.
§  In June the economy added 200,000+ jobs for the fifth month in a row -- 288,000 in June alone.  The five month streak is the longest since the late 1990s.
§  The Unemployment rate is now at 6.1% -- you may remember that the unemployment rate was at 10.1% at the height of the great recession.
§  Corporate profits and stock prices continue to set record highs.
§  The number of food-stamp recipients has retreated from the record high of 2012; fewer beneficiaries have been added under Obama than were added under George W. Bush.
§  Under Obama, federal spending has risen more slowly than the rate of inflation. 
§  Auto sales -- a consistently bright spot in the recovery -- heated up even more in June. They clocked in at 17 million at an annualized rate for the best month in eight years.
§  Gallup polling found that 45 percent of Americans were working full-time in June, one of the highest rates since the polling company began tracking the figure. 
§  The government data released Thursday mirrored those results, with the employment-to-population ratio rising to 59 percent, the highest level since 2009.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Unemployment falls to 7%

The United States lost 8.7 million jobs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. As of November, it had gained about 7.4 million of those jobs back.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/06/news/economy/november-jobs-report/index.html



Saturday, August 31, 2013

GDP Growth Better Than Earlier Believed

Real GDP growth for the second quarter was raised to an annualized rate of 2.5 percent compared to the initial estimate of 1.7 percent and compared to a fourth quarter rise of 1.1 percent. Expectations were for 2.2 percent.

The upward revision to GDP growth was mainly due to a sharp upward revision to net exports. Also, there were improvements to inventories and nonresidential structures investment.

Comparisons to the first quarter of the year showed that the increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Headline inflation rates when annualized remain quite tame.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Durable Goods Orders Surprise Everyone

Manufacturing momentum is accelerating again. While civilian aircraft added huge lift to December durable goods orders, the gains were broad based. New factory orders for durable goods in December jumped a whopping monthly 4.6 percent, following a boost of 0.7 percent in November. 

The market forecast was for only a 1.6 percent increase. The transportation component on the index spiked 11.9 percent. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders increased 1.3 percent, following a rise of 1.2 percent in November. The consensus called for a 0.4 percent rise in orders excluding transportation.

Outside of transportation, the index increases were led by primarily metals, up 3.6 percent, and computers & electronics, up 3.3 percent. Also rising were fabricated metals and machinery.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Initial Jobless Claims Plunge

Initial unemployment claims in the January 12 week plunged 37,000 to 335,000 for a recovery low and massively below anybody's expectations.  The consensus predicted for the week had been 368,000. There are no unusual factors skewing the latest data although some seasonal adjustments may play a role.

The four-week average is down 6,750 to 359,250 which is about 10,000 below the mid-December level.

Improvement continues in the jobs market, and this report continues to point to a longer term trend leading to more robust jobs growth this year.




Friday, January 4, 2013

Jobs Grow For 34 Straight Months

Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that private sector businesses added 168,000 jobs in December. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 155,000 jobs last month. The economy has now added private sector jobs for 34 straight months, and a total of 5.8 million jobs have been added over that period, taking account of the preliminary benchmark revision. In 2012, private businesses added two million payroll jobs, taking account of the preliminary benchmark revision.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

US Stocks Follow the World New Year Rally Thanks to DC

The US stock market rallied on Wednesday - the first day of the trading new year. Gains were broad. Financial shares and tech stocks fared exceptionally well. The US rally followed a broad world stock surge that begin as lawmakers finalized voting late Tuesday evening in Washington DC. Investors were cheering that late year deal which keeps tax cuts in place for most Americans but raises the tax rate on individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning over $450,000 a year. Lawmakers in DC also extended federal emergency unemployment insurance benefits for another year as the jobs marketing continues to improve.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GDP Gets Notable Upgrade

For its final estimate for the third quarter, GDP got a notable upgrade. Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up to 3.1 percent annualized, compared to the second estimate of 2.7 percent annualized and to the advance estimate of 2.0 percent.

The latest number easily topped market expectations for a 2.8 percent advance.

 Demand figures also got a boost. Final sales of domestic product increased 2.4 percent versus the second estimate of 1.9 percent and second quarter growth of 1.7 percent. Final sales to domestic producers (which exclude net exports) were revised to 1.9 percent, compared to the second estimate of 1.7 percent and compared the prior quarter's 1.4 percent.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2008

The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% in October, the Labor Department said. That's the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008. "Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November," the Labor Department said in a press release.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stocks: Lots of Room to Run

Stocks have lots of room to run, said Goldman Sachs senior investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen at the Bloomberg Hedge Fund conference in New York Wednesday morning. Cohen, a 22 year veteran of Goldman Sachs, estimates that even after the 2012 market rally, stocks could rise another 10% to 15% in 2013. While Congress has given the U.S. population reason to worry about taxes and the fiscal cliff, the overall fundamentals of the U.S. economy are healthy, and consumers have money to spend, Cohen said. Moreover, the U.S. has been reducing its debt relative to its growth domestic product during the past few years. She noted that debt was 4% of GDP for the fiscal year that started in October compared to an 11% ratio in 2008. "We are slowly growing our way out of the most extreme version of the debt crisis," she said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November A Solid Month For Manufacturers

November was a solid month for the nation's manufacturers based on the PMI index from Markit Economics which shows a final reading of 52.8, up four tenths from the flash reading and up a sharp 1.8 points from October. Very encouraging is a good description for the details which show accelerating monthly growth for new orders and for output. New exports orders show their first monthly increase since May. Backlog orders are in the plus column for the first time since August. Employment growth is steady and respectable.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Consumer Confidence Increases Again

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in October, also posted a moderate increase in November. The Index now stands at 73.7, up from 73.1 in October. The Expectations Index rose to 85.1 from 84.0 last month. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics. The survey is conducted around what consumers buy and watch. Lynn Franco, the Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “The Consumer Confidence Index increased in November and is now at its highest level in more than four and a half years (76.4 Feb. 2008). This month’s moderate improvement was the result of an uptick in expectations. Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

Texas Future Outlook Remains Positive

Texas factory activity was little changed in November but the outlook slipped. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in at 1.7, indicating output barely increased from October. Other survey measures suggested flat manufacturing activity in November. The new orders index came in at 0.4, suggesting that demand was unchanged from October. Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened in November. The general business activity index fell to minus 2.8 from plus 1.8 in October, returning to negative territory. The company outlook index moved down to minus 4.8 in November from plus 2.4 in October, registering its first negative reading since April. Labor market indicators were mixed. The employment index edged up to 6.7 in November, with more than 20 percent of firms reporting hiring compared with 15 percent reporting layoffs. The hours worked index dipped from minus 5.9 to minus 7.1. Indexes reflecting future business conditions fell sharply in November. The index of future general business activity plunged from 16.8 to minus 5.3, its lowest reading in four months. The index of future company outlook dropped from 20.9 to 1.8. Indexes for future manufacturing activity also fell this month but remained positive.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yes Florida, The Economy *IS* On The Mend

I happened across this article today and wish I could claim that I wrote it. Here is the opening...

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida delivered his party's weekly address on Saturday morning, and made a provocative claim about President Obama.

"The bottom line is this president inherited a country with serious problems," Rubio said. "He asked the Congress to give him the stimulus and Obamacare to fix it. The Democrats in Congress gave it to him. And not only did it not work, it made everything worse."

What a joke!

So have a look at the full article here and see the Rubio claim debunked soundly.

Not only has the U.S. economy grown for the last 10 quarters, but the workforce has ADDED jobs for the last 22 months straight.

Can we do better? Sure. Did Obama policies make things worse?

I don't think so!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unemployment Claims Continue to Plummet

Fewer Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week. So few in fact, that the number of initial claims fell to its lowest level since May 2008.

About 366,000 people filed initial jobless claims in the week ended Dec. 10, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was a decrease of 19,000 from the prior week.

The report continues to signal that the unemployment rate will come down further in December. Even the most pessimistic of economists often look for the weekly tally to stay below 400,000 to signal that job growth is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The drop in claims last week and the drop in the unemployment rate last month was the complete opposite of what a majority of economists had expected. (Remember the majority is always wrong?)




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Job Openings Now at Highest Level in Over Three Years

The Labor Department announced on Tuesday that the number of positions waiting to be filled in the U.S. rose in September to the highest level in more than three years. Job openings increased by 225,000 to 3.35 million, the most since August 2008.

Hiring also advanced by 185,000 to 4.25 million.

Last Thursday the government announced that payrolls grew by 80,000 workers in October, and that gains in the prior two months were revised up, by nearly 102,000 positions.

In the 12 months ended in September, the recovery has now created a net 1.3 million jobs, from a gross total of 48.3 million new hires.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekly Jobless Claims Break Below 400,000

Jobless claims continue to come down and this week initial claims fell 9,000 to 397,000. The four-week average is now also approaching the 400,000 level, down 2,000 in the week to 404,500. This level is more than 10,000 lower than the month-ago comparison and offers a positive indication for the October employment report to be released on Friday.

The report comes on the heals of an ADP report release Wednesday that showed October private payrolls rose 110,000 six digit growth that mirrored September's growth of 116,000.

The Wednesday Challenger Job-Cut Report also showed corporate layoff rates to be significantly subdued.

The doomsters have long pointed to a jobless claims level of 400,000 as the mark that indicates robust hiring is on the way... of course don't look for the perma-pessimists to change their tune even though the recovery has now produced this number.

The is no doubt however that if the jobless claims levels continue their current trends, that both private and government payroll nets will continue their healthy rise.




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