06/26/2022

News

Job openings (6.1 million), hires, and separations little changed in September

Job openings were little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September. Job openings have been at or near record high levels since June. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.

Read More

Hiring Rebounded in October; Unemployment Rate Fell to 4.1%

U.S. employers hired at a strong pace in October, and revisions showed the labor market weathered hurricane damage better than previously estimated.Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 261,000 in October, a pickup from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000. Economists expected 315,000 new jobs and a 4.2% unemployment rate last month. Wages rose 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from last month.September’s payrolls data, initially reported as the first drop in seven years, were revised to show employers actually created 18,000 new jobs that month, extending the economy’s streak of job gains to a record 85 straight months.

Read More

Record Job Openings Aren’t Enticing Workers to Quit

The rate at which workers quit their jobs—seen by many economists as a sign of confidence in the labor market—fell slightly to a seasonally adjusted 2.1% in August from 2.2% in July, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as Jolts, released Wednesday.

The quits rate, or the share of employed people who voluntarily leave their jobs in a month, has held nearly steady for two years after slowly climbing after the recession ended in mid-2009. The sideways move in the quits rate comes at a time when the unemployment rate has fallen to a 16-year low and the number of available jobs has touched the highest level on records back to 2000.

Site has paywall
Read More

Hurricane-Battered U.S. Shed 33,000 Jobs in September

The country shed 33,000 jobs in September, the first loss in seven years, the Labor Department said Friday, ending the longest stretch of job growth on record.

But that decline was skewed down by Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in late August, and Irma, which hit Florida in early September. The storms came just before businesses filled out monthly surveys of payrolls, which are submitted to the government and used to tabulate hiring. Many businesses reported reduced payrolls during the survey week of Sept. 12. Employment in the restaurant industry, in particular, took a big hit, falling 105,000 in September from the month before, after averaging growth of 29,000 during the prior six months.

Site has paywall
Read More

Declining Male Workforce Participation Reflects Supply, Not Demand, Says New Paper

Weakness in the labor market doesn’t adequately explain why fewer men are working or seeking jobs, according to a new paper published by economist Scott Winship and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. One big contributor is the rising number of men in their prime working years–aged 25 to 54–who are getting federal disability benefits, or report being disabled, and who are not actively searching for jobs, Mr. Winship concludes. This suggests there is less slack in the labor market—such as people who could be drawn in off the sidelines—than many policy makers believe.

Site has paywall
Read More

California’s growth slowdown continues in August as the state loses 8,200 jobs

California’s slowing economic expansion was evident in August as the state lost 8,200 net jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1%, from 4.8% a month earlier, according to data released Friday from the state’s Employment Development Department. The drop in employment follows a robust July in which the Golden State gained the most jobs in more than a year: 84,500, revised up from a previous estimate of 82,600. August’s slide back was in large part driven by employers in the leisure and hospitality sector: They cut 12,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis — the largest decrease by any sector in the state. Professional and business services and the public sector also lost jobs. Manufacturing and the trade, transportation and utilities sector, meanwhile, gained jobs.

Read More

U.S. Hiring Slowed in August, Unemployment Rate Ticked Up

The pace of hiring slowed in August, while the U.S. unemployment rate edged up.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in August from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 4.3%, though the level remains historically low. Wages maintained a modest growth rate.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 179,000 new jobs and a 4.3% unemployment rate last month.

Site has paywall
Read More

Earnings Losses Through Unemployment and Unemployment Duration

Workers who lose their job face a variety of hardships while unemployed. But beyond the direct cost of job loss, its associated income loss, workers will tend to make less in their next job as well. This is perhaps not surprising intuitively and is certainly expected by economic theory. Coming from unemployment, a worker is not in a good position to select their optimal job nor to bargain for high wages once they find a job. In addition, unemployment may signal—rightfully or not—that a worker was separated for a reason and is less productive than their prior wage required. By either of these stories, unemployment duration should exacerbate the earnings losses. A worker unemployed longer will be more desperate to take a bad job that comes along and have an even worse bargaining position in it. Long unemployment durations also may signal failed attempts to find employment and be an even worse signal than a relatively short unemployment spell. A longer search time, however, may help the worker find a better match and a higher wage in re-employment. This article will explore empirically earnings losses across unemployment spells and show that, in general, the longer the unemployment duration, the larger the loss. 

Read More

Joblessness Falls Quickly in Trump-Supporting States

Swing states that played a key role in electing Donald Trump president have posted some of the biggest declines in unemployment during the early phase of his administration. Six states voted for President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in 2012 and then Mr. Trump, a Republican, in 2016: Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The median unemployment rate of those switchover states has fallen far faster than the national median this year, according to an analysis of data released by the Labor Department on Friday. The median rate of those states stood at 3.9% as of July, down from just under 5% in December. By comparison, the national median fell to 4.1% in July from 4.7%.

Site has paywall
Read More

State jobless rate edges up to 4.8 percent in July

California’s unemployment rate edged upward to 4.8 percent in July, even as more than 80,000 jobs were added to employer payrolls.

The jobless rate reported Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department moved up from the record-tying low of 4.7 percent seen in both May and June this year.

Slow website
Read More

U.S. Hiring Maintains Strong Pace; Jobless Rate Ties 16-Year Low at 4.3%

U.S. employers hired at a healthy rate in July and the unemployment rate fell to match a 16-year-low, a show of lasting vitality for the labor market.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3% from 4.4% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. The July unemployment rate matched May’s reading as the lowest mark since 2001.

Read More

Can Ex-Cons Ease the Labor Shortage?

For some Silicon Valley companies such as Google, which operate in a region where finding an affordable place to live has become a major issue, that may mean getting directly involved in employee housing. For farms in California, it may mean offering significantly higher wages, which can alter business models and reduce profit margins. In rapidly growing industries such as solar, some companies are taking a more proactive role in training employees. And, in some instances, it may mean looking to hire some of the 600,000 people who get out of jail each year. That was the point of a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal this week. “Erickson Cos., a Chandler, Ariz.,–based construction firm, has hired almost 30 former inmates from Arizona state prisons over the past year to build frames for new homes, an effort to cope with skilled-labor scarcity,” the Journal noted. “Erickson, which has about 250 employees in Arizona and roughly 1,000 nationwide, has been recruiting directly from corrections department job fairs for prisoners nearing release.”

Read More

The yellow light is on: California loses 1,400 jobs as economy shows signs of slowing

California’s economic engine quieted in June as employers reduced their payrolls by 1,400, according to a report Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department. It was the second month this year that the state lost jobs. The unemployment rate stayed flat at 4.7%, the lowest rate since November 2000.. . . A net reduction of 1,400 jobs is slight compared with the state’s total employment of about 17 million non-agricultural workers. But it is another indication that 2017 could be a year of cooling for California’s typically bustling job market.

Read More

Jobless Rates for Hispanic and Black Workers Fall to Historic Lows

The unemployment rate for Hispanic or Latino workers fell to 4.8% last month, the lowest level on records back to the 1970s. The rate for black Americans was 7.1%, the second-lowest monthly rate, bested only by April 2000’s 7% reading, according to the Labor Department. The decline in unemployment for blacks and Hispanics comes with a significant caveat: Both June lows are higher than the 3.8% rate for whites, and the 4.4% overall rate.

Read More

U.S. Employers Added 222,000 Jobs in June

U.S. employers picked up their pace of hiring in June. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 222,000 from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from 4.3% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2.5% in June, little changed from prior months. In one positive sign, the average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.

Read More