September 2015

Job Openings at Record, Hires Not So Much

The BLS JOLTS report shows once again record high job openings.  While Wall Street cheers and proclaims the long bad jobs market over, not so fast.  Actual hiring still has not recovered to even the 2007 prerecession levels.  The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows there are 1.4 official unemployed per job opening for July 2015.

Should we Celebrate Labor Day?

The latest jobs report shows that, once again, over a quarter of a million people have dropped out of the labor force. So should we celebrate Labor Day for just being lucky enough to have a job — any job at all?

The prominent economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz (and a Fellow of the progressive Roosevelt Institute) says: “An economy that doesn’t deliver for most of its citizens is a failed economy.”

July Trade Deficit Falls by 7.3%, on Pace to Add 0.58 Percentage Points to 3rd quarter GDP

Our July trade deficit fell by 7.3% from June as the value of our exports rose and the value of our imports fell.  The Census report on our international trade in goods and services for July indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit fell by $3.3 billion to $41.9 billion in July from a June deficit which was revised from $43.8 billion to $45.2 billion. 

Plunging 5.1% Unemployment Rate Belies Record Low Labor Participation

The August unemployment report shows steady as she goes sorts of statistics.  Yet, the report is really a mixed bag.  The unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to be 5.1%.  The labor participation rate remained the same, 62.6%, and hasn't changed for three months.  Once again over a quarter of a million people dropped out of the labor force.

Manufacturing Survey Shows Slowing in August

The August ISM Manufacturing Survey shows more deceleration of the manufacturing sector.  While a PMI of 51.1% is still growth, the decline in new orders is disconcerting.  The composite PMI decreased by -1.6 percentage points and new orders decreased by -4.8 percentage points.  Overall the report really shows a weakening manufacturing sector.