Jobs

Unemployment claims fall to lowest level in 43 years, despite hurricanes

The total number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits fell to 1.89 million at the end of September, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, the lowest such mark in nearly 44 years. And new claims for unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to 243,000 in the first full week of October, according to the agency, as the job market bounces back from hurricane damage even faster than forecasters expected. Low new jobless claims are a good sign. They indicate that layoffs are rare, and accordingly that job creation is strong. Unemployment benefits are available for up to 26 weeks in most states. Fewer people are now receiving benefits of all duration than at any time since December of 1973, when the total workforce was much smaller. That is a reflection of the strength of the jobs market, and the availability of new positions for laid-off workers. Prior to the landfall of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, claims had been running at ultra-low rates. With Texas and Florida now recovering, new claims again appear to be sinking to levels that indicate robust job creation. First-time claims in the states most affected by the storms are still high, but have fallen in recent weeks. “The data suggest that payrolls will bounce back quickly after last month’s hurricane-related weakness and that the underlying trend in employment growth remains strong — more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate declining,” noted Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High-Frequency Economics. Economists calculate that new claims below the 300,000 mark indicate that unemployment will remain stable or fall. Good claims numbers, which are released weekly, are one of the factors that will reassure officials in the Trump administration and at the Federal Reserve that the jobs recovery is intact, even though the hurricanes generated net job losses in September. Minutes from the Fed’s September monetary policy meeting, released Wednesday, suggested that the central bank still sees the economy as healthy enough to justify raising rates again this year.

..which of course kinda stinks if you’re wanting to buy a new car or home.   But, otherwise, this is overall great economic news!!   🙂

63.1%: Participation Rate Reaches Trump-Era High; Record Number of Employed

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are long gone, and despite dire predictions, they did not dampen the September jobs report in most key areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday said the labor force participation rate of 63.1 percent reached a high for the year in September, up two-tenths of a point from August. The number of employed Americans reached 154,345,000 in September, setting a sixth record since January. As the number of employed Americans reached an all-time high, the number of unemployed Americans in September — 6,801,000 — hasn’t been this low since May 2007. The already low unemployment rate dropped another two-tenths of a point to 4.2 percent last month. That is the lowest since early 2001. BLS noted that the recent hurricanes had “no discernible effect on the national unemployment rate.” The number of Americans not in the labor force declined a bit in September to 94,417,000. The record, set in the final full month of the Obama presidency, stands at 95,102,000 Americans not in the labor force.

Some excellent news!!  Sure there are some mixed stats.   But, on balance, Americans have much to be optimistic about in this Trump economy.  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Study: Maryland County Would Lose 47,000 Jobs by 2022 if It Raises Minimum Wage to $15

A Maryland county could lose an estimated 47,000 jobs by 2022 if it chooses to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, according to a new study released Tuesday evening. The Washington Post reports that the study, which Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) commissioned, found that the majority of positions that would be eliminated were low-wage jobs. Leggett decided to move forward with the study after he vetoed a minimum wage increase in January. In explaining his decision to veto the minimum wage increase, he said the wage hike would devastate the economy in Montgomery County. PFM, the Philadelphia-based consulting group that carried out the study, found that a minimum wage hike to $15 would lead to a $396.5 million loss of income in Montgomery County by 2022. The loss of income would come from businesses deciding to lay off employees, cut hours and benefits for those that remain, and nix plans to hire new workers and open new locations. “We can’t minimize some of the impacts outlined here,” said Leggett, responding to the study’s results. “Even if it’s not 47,000 jobs lost, even if it’s half that, those are some startling numbers. You can’t discount ­it all.” County council member Marc Elrich, however, remains unconvinced of the study’s findings. Elrich proposed a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County to $15 by 2022 a week before the study was due. He called the PFM study “nonsense,” saying it was impossible to predict how a wage increase would impact the future. Elrich also claimed that the study was biased because employers would be more likely to respond negatively. PFM’s study was conducted from April to June using electronic surveys, phone, and in-person interviews with business and nonprofit owners and community leaders. Several studies on minimum wage hikes conclude that they are bad for business — both for employers and employees. A Harvard Business School study from April found that minimum wage laws increase the chance that non-elite restaurants will go out of business. A June study from the University of Washington found that Seattle’s minimum wage hike is cutting employees’ salaries by $125 a month.

Raising the minimum wage arbitrarily is a foolish thing.  But, it’s trendy and popular in big cities and blue states where Dems are in control.   So, kudos to Mr. Leggett (D) in Montgomery County, Maryland for putting common sense ahead of a failed liberal Democrat agenda item.  Wages should be determined by the free marketplace; NOT some politician or silly, however popular, ballot initiative.

H-1B Visa Displaced American Workers, New Report Finds

The H-1B visa has led to American jobs being outsourced to India and displacement of U.S. workers, a new study confirms. The study by the Center for Global Development details how the widespread use of the H-1B visa has led to outsourcing and displacement of Americans while strengthening the pocketbooks of big business executives through “firm productivity” and “consumer welfare.” Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. That number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and nonprofits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often forced to train their replacements. The H-1B visa, according to researchers, is partly responsible for the outsourcing of American information technology (IT) jobs, as it led to a tech boom in India. “Indian students enrolled in engineering schools to gain employment in the rapidly growing US IT industry via the H-1B visa program,” the study states. “Those who could not join the US workforce, due to the H-1B cap, remained in India, and along with return-migrants, enabled the growth of an Indian IT sector, which led to the outsourcing of some production to India.” Researchers also admit that American workers, because of the importation of foreign workers through the H-1B visa, have been displaced and forced to take jobs in non-computer science careers. “The migration and rise in Indian exports induced a small number of US workers to switch to non-CS occupations, with distributional impacts,” the study states. Despite the researchers claiming the H-1B visa has made the U.S. and India “better off,” IT exports show otherwise. For instance, exports of IT goods from the U.S. has steadily declined since 1995. India, on the other hand, has enjoyed a steady rise of IT exports since 1995. The Center for Global Development study further confirmed previous research that indicates how American workers have gotten the short end of the stick while India has profited from frivolous U.S. immigration laws and visa programs.

Record 153,513,000 Employed in July; 62.9% Labor Force Participation

President Trump was awake early on this “employment report” Friday, tweeting about jobs, regulation-busting, and consumer confidence, among other things. A few hours later, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 209,000 jobs in July; the number of employed people jumped by 345,000 to 153,513,000 in July, setting a third straight monthly record; the number of Americans counted as not in the labor force, meaning they don’t have a job and are not looking for one, dropped for a third straight month to 94,657,000; and the nation’s unemployment rate also dropped a tenth of a point, to 4.3 percent. The labor force participation rate, held down in part by a wave of Baby Boomer retirements, was 62.9 percent in July, slightly better than it has been in recent months, but still close to its 38-year low of 62.4 percent in September 2015. (The record high was 67.3 percent in 2000.) In July, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 255,151,000. Of those, 160,494,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one. The 160,494,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 255,151,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

More great news in this Trump economy!  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.  Excellent!   🙂

Foxconn announces $10 billion investment in Wisconsin and up to 13,000 jobs

Foxconn Technology Group Wednesday pledged to invest $10 billion to build a display panel plant in Wisconsin that could employ up to 13,000 workers and draw up to $3 billion in subsidies from state taxpayers — a deal that could ripple through the economy and 2018 elections. “This is a great day for American workers and manufacturers and everyone who believes in the concept and the label ‘Made in the USA,’ ” said an ebullient President Donald Trump at the White House announcement.

Nice!!  To read the rest of this story, click on the text above.

BMW Adding 1,000 Jobs at South Carolina Plant

German carmaker BMW has announced it is adding one thousand new jobs to its manufacturing facilities in South Carolina. The Spartanburg plant, already the largest BMW facility in the U.S., will grow even larger with the company’s announced $600 million in new investments over the next four years, CNBC reported. “It’s a great day for us here in Spartanburg and South Carolina and for the BMW group,” BMW chairman Harald Kruger said. “The workforce will be well above 10,000 people, which is, in my view, clearly a symbol of success.” The improvements will mean that the plant will be able to produce as many as 450,000 new vehicles annually.

More jobs in this Trump economy!   🙂