Job market jitters get the blame11/24/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
After posting a modest decline in October, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index posted a substantial decline this month, dropping to 90.4 from 99.1 in October.
At the same time, the Present Situation Index fell from 114.6 to 108.1, and the Expectations Index plunged more than 10 points -- from 88.7 to 78.6.
“The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Headin...
But it's not as bad as first indicated11/24/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has taken a second look at how the economy was doing during the summer. And while things are a little better than they were in the “advance” report issued a month ago, there's a long way to go.
According to the BEA, real gross domestic product (GDP) -- the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes --...
The “improved economic climate” is cited as a major factor05/05/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
There was improvement April in the non-manufacturing, or services, sector of the economy. According to the Institute for Supply Management, the sector rose 1.3% last month to 57.8% -- the 63rd straight month of expansion.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index jumped 4.1% -- to 61.6 percent, reflecting growth for the 69th consecutive month at a faster rate. The New Orders Index was up 1.4% to 59.2% and the Employment Index inched up 0.1% to 56.7% -- indicating 14...
More firms report hiring, saying there's little or no problem finding workers05/06/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Despite a slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter of 2015, members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and other industry economists have bullish expectations for the year.
In the April NABE Business Conditions Survey, 77 NABE members and selected industry economists were polled on business conditions in their firms or industries. The results reflect first-quarter results and the near-term outlook.
The survey results indicate “a marked dec...
The unemployment rate fell to a 7-year low05/08/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
After creating an anemic 85,000 (revised downward from 126,000) jobs in March, the economy got fired up and cranked out 223,000 nonfarm payroll positions in April, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.1% to 5.4% -- a 7-year low.
Figures released by the Labor Department (DOL) show most of the job gains came in professional and
business services, health care, and construction, while mining employment continued to decline.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rat...
There's still cause for economic concern, though05/22/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
A chief indicator of future economic performance posted a solid gain last month.
The Conference Board reports its Leading Economic Index (LEI) was up 0.7% in April following a March increase of 0.4% and a 0.2% decline in February.
“April’s sharp increase in the LEI seems to have helped stabilize its slowing trend, suggesting the paltry economic growth in the first quarter may be temporary,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “However, the growth ...
The contraction in growth is the first in a year05/29/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The economy petered out in the first three months of this year.
According to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) -- the value of the production of goods and services in the U.S. adjusted for price changes -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter. It was the first contraction since the first quarter of 2014 and the worst quarterly showing since the Great Recession.
In the advance estimate...
The manufacturing economy continued to expand06/02/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The additional money consumers found in their pockets in April stayed there.
Figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show personal incomes during the month rose 0.4% or $59.4 billion. Disposable personal income (DPI) -- personal income less personal current taxes – increased $48.8 billion, or 0.4%.
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) was virtually flat at $2.6 billion, declining less than 0.1%.
The rise in incomes came as wages and salaries increased $17....
Manufacturing -- not so much06/03/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
After coming in below the closely-watched mark of 200,000 for 2 straight months, job creation appears to be back on track.
According to the May ADP National Employment Report, private sector employment increased by 201,000 jobs from April to May.
"The labor market moved back up to the 200,000 jobs added mark in May, a number which has been something of a bellwether for healthy employment growth," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. "We h...
More good news: Those with jobs were earning more06/05/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
May was a strong month for job creation.
According to the Labor Department (DOL), the economy cranked out 280,00 nonfarm payroll positions last month following a revised total of 221,000 new jobs in April.
At the same time, the unemplopyment rate edged up 0.1% to 5.5%. But even that was good news as people who had given up looking for work re-entered the job market -- a sign of growing optimism.
Nearly as important, average hourly earnings for all employees on private n...
Both hires and separations were fairly stable06/09/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
There were 5.4 million job openings at the end of April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) -- the highest level since the series began in December 2000.
At the same time, number of hires was little-changed at 5.0 million and the number of separations was fairly steady at 4.9 million. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9% and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.3% -- both little different from the previous month.
The number of job openings was es...
The nation's gross domestic product is moving in the wrong direction06/24/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The national economy, as measured by real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the U.S., adjusted for price changes -- declined at an annual rate of 0.2% in the first quarter, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Real GDP grew at a 2.2% annual rate in the final 3 months of 2014.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "second" est...
The savings rate, however, took a hit06/25/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
U.S. consumers saw their incomes rise in May -- and they ran right out and spent the money.
Figures released by the Commerce Department show personal income rose 0.5%, or $79.0 billion, last month, with disposable personal income (DPI) also up 0.5% or $65.5 billion.
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) jumped 0.9%, or $105.9 billion.
Wages and salaries were up $37.1 billion in May, compared with an increase of $21.6 billion the previous month, with private wages and s...
The midyear total is the highest in 5 years07/01/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 44,842 workers during June, an increase of about 10% from May. The cut total is 43% higher than June 2014, marking the fifth year-over-year increase in job cuts in the first six months of 2015.
At the same time, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports heavier-than-expected downsizing throughout the first half of 2015 has pushed the midyear total to its highest level since 2010.
Overall, employers have...
Once again, small businesses took the lead07/01/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
For the third time in as many months, the U.S. economy has created more than 200,000 private sector jobs.
According to the ADP National Employment Report, there were 237,000 new jobs in June on top of the 203,000 created in May.
The report, which is produced by ADP in collaboration with Moody's Analytics, is derived from ADP's actual payroll data, and measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month.
"The U.S. job machine remains in high gear,” said Mo...
Initial jobless claims are on the rise07/02/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Led by gains in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, the economy created another 223,000 jobs during June. At the same time, the unemployment rate dropped 0.2% -- to 5.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While it was the third straight monthly increase in nonfarm payroll employment, June failed to measure up to the 254,000 jobs created in May.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.8%), adult w...
Leading economic indicators posted their third advance in a row07/23/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Fewer people, it would appear, lost their jobs last week.
The Labor Department (DOL) reports first time applications for state jobless benefits fell by 26,000 in the week ending July 18 to seasonally adjusted total of 255,000. That's the lowest level for initial claims since November 24, 1973, when it was 233,000.
DOL says there were no special factors affecting the claims level. Economists at Briefing.com., who were expecting the claims level to drop to 279,000, say the...