White House: Best New-Jobs Streak Since 1939
The unemployment rate slid to 6.1 percent in June, which, following several years of chronic joblessness, has a relatively positive ring to it. The economy added 288,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported today.
This follows that 2.9 percent annualized slide in GDP during the first quarter of 2014, the worst contraction since the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“A rebound in the economy after a first-quarter slump is encouraging companies such as Ford Motor Co. (F) to add to staffing levels, laying the groundwork for a pickup in wages needed to further propel consumer spending,” Shobhana Chandra reports. “More employment opportunities will probably keep Federal Reserve policy makers on the path to reduce monetary stimulus.
“The improvement in the labor market is accelerating,” says Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios LP in Wheaton, Illinois, and the top forecaster of payrolls the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “We’re seeing a self-sustaining recovery where production growth leads to job growth, which leads to consumption growth.”
Since the trough of the recession, through mid-term elections and a presidential reelection campaign, the White House has been highlighting an unrelenting monthly gain in jobs. Today, the streak is running at four and a third years.
For more: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2014-07-03/white-house-best-new-jobs-streak-since-1939/
Economic Situation in June:
1. The private sector has added 9.7 million jobs over 52 straight months of job growth
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in June, mainly reflecting a 262,000 increase in private employment, which is above the 203,000 per month average over the past year.
2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.
The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939. The steadiness of job gains is a sign of the progress that has been made in the recovery, but the President continues to believe that more can and should be done to further build on this progress.
2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.
The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939.
3. The unemployment rate has fallen 1.4 percentage points over the past year, the sharpest year-over-year decline in nearly three decades. The unemployment rate remains elevated because of an unacceptably high prevalence of long-term unemployment, but it is encouraging that roughly half the decline in the overall unemployment rate over the past year has come from a falling long-term unemployment rate, a disproportionate contribution since the long-term unemployed represent about one-third of the total unemployed.
4. Aggregate hours worked by private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose 4.4 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, the strongest quarterly growth since 2006. As noted last week, growth in aggregate hours worked is a proxy for total economic output that has historically been reasonably well correlated with real GDP growth.
5. Total job growth in June was the 4th strongest month out of the last 52 months, and a number of industries outperformed recent trends. Looking over the 52 months since March 2010, June was a “top ten” month for the following industries: wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information services, professional and business services, and state and local government.
Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports
Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg
The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.
The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.
Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.
Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.
Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.
Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.
Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.
For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html
U.S. services sector activity accelerates in June: Markit
NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The final reading for activity in the U.S. services sector hit its highest in 4-1/2 years, pushed higher by increasing new business activity and hiring, a survey showed on Thursday.
Financial data firm Markit said its final services Purchasing Managers Index hit 61.0 in June, the highest final reading since the survey began in October 2009, compared with May’s final reading of 58.1. It was slightly lower than the 61.2 preliminary print.
A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.
The services sector added employees at the fastest rate on record with the employment index coming in at 56.1, higher than the 55.4 preliminary reading. Last month’s final read came in at 52.8.
The new orders subcomponent also hit its highest on record.
For more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-services-sector-activity-accelerates-june-markit-135014769–business.html;_ylt=AwrSyCNSZbVTmQ4ACH3QtDMD
Job Openings in U.S. Increased in May to Almost Seven-Year High
Jul 8, 2014 7:25 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg
Job openings rose in May to the highest level in almost seven years, a sign the U.S labor market will help boost economic growth in the second half of this year.
The number of positions waiting to be filled climbed by 171,000 to 4.64 million, the most since June 2007, a report from the Labor Department showed today. Separations eased from a month earlier.
Today’s data, among the labor-market measures monitored by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, add to evidence of greater employment opportunities. Payrolls grew more than forecast in June, and the jobless rate fell to an almost six-year low, figures showed last week.
For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-08/job-openings-in-u-s-rose-by-171-000-in-may-to-4-64-million.html
Dow Average Tops 17,000 as Payrolls Rise Amid ECB Plans
Jul 3, 2014 6:33 AM PT By Lu Wang – bloomberg
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 17,000 for the first time as data showed employers added more workers than projected in June and the European Central Bank prepared to disclose details of its stimulus plans.
The Dow gained 42.70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,018.94 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) rose 0.3 percent to 1,980.56. Equities markets close at 1 p.m. today before the Independence Day holiday.
“This is a pretty strong report,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at San Francisco-based Wells Capital Management, in a phone interview. “This is stuff that is going to lead to upward revisions of second quarter growth rates and it starts off the third quarter in a real positive momentum place.”
The addition of 288,000 jobs followed a 224,000 gain the prior month that was bigger than previously estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 215,000 advance. The jobless rate is the lowest since September 2008. The number of long-term unemployed fell to 3.1 million, showing they’re having greater success finding work.
Benchmark indexes are at record levels as stocks extended a rebound from a selloff earlier this year that started with biotechnology and small-cap stocks. The S&P 500 has rallied 8.8 percent since reaching a two-month low in April as central bank stimulus spread from Europe to Japan and the U.S.
For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/u-s-stock-index-futures-little-changed-before-jobs-data.html
U.S. economy bounces back in a big way
07/30/14 08:51 AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog
By any measure, the U.S. economy was unusually weak in the first quarter of the year (January through March), though most in the economic, financial, and political sectors were untroubled by the data. Indeed, for most, the winter drop was something of a fluke, caused by unusually harsh weather conditions and an unexpected drop in health spending.
Still, the first-quarter report made the second-quarter data all the more important. Would the economy bounce back? This morning, we received an answer – and for those rooting for economic success, the results were even better than expected.
The U.S. economy grew by a 4% annual pace in the second quarter, bouncing back from a revised 2.1% decline in the first three months of the year, according to a preliminary government estimate. Economists polled by MarketWatch predicted GDP would grow by a seasonally adjusted 3.2%. Consumer spending, the main source of economic activity, accelerated to show a solid 2.5% gain after a meager 1.2% rise in the first quarter. […]
Also adding to U.S. growth was a pickup in construction spending, increased business investment, a bigger buildup in inventories and slightly higher government spending, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
Also note, the most recent data showed the first quarter GDP at -2.9%. Today’s report revises that total in a less-awful direction, to -2.1%.
Nevertheless, today’s report showing 4% growth is terrific and reinforces the perception of an economy picking up speed. Though this is a preliminary figure that will be revised in the coming months, if it holds up, this will be only the third time in the last seven years that GDP growth has reached 4% or greater.
What’s more, the swing from -2.1% to +4% is easily the largest positive quarter-to-quarter swing since the start of the Great Recession is late 2007.
For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/us-economy-bounces-back-big-way
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