unemployment

American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Joble

The U.S. had more job openings this spring than unemployed Americans. For the first time since such record-keeping began in 2000, the number of available positions exceeded the number of job seekers, the Labor Department said Tuesday, a shift that is rippling across the economy and affecting the behavior of employers and workers. U.S. job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.7 million at the end of April, a record high, and more than the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed during the month. Openings had exceeded the available labor pool beginning in March, according to revised figures released Tuesday. The figures are the latest sign the U.S. is facing a historically tight labor market. The jobless rate ticked down further in May to a seasonally adjusted 3.8%, the lowest since April 2000, the Labor Department said last week. The last time the rate was lower was in 1969, when young men were being drafted into the Vietnam War. The labor market is forcing employers to rethink their approach to hiring, said Terri Greeno, owner of an Express Employment Professionals office in Crystal Lake, Ill. She is asking clients if they are being realistic in their demands for workers with clean criminal histories and higher levels of education. “Is it a health and safety issue? If not, you have to ask if those demands are really related to the outcome on the job,” Ms. Greeno said. “When the unemployment rate is this low, you’re really competing for workers who already have jobs.” Her staffing firm is taking extra steps to fill light industrial and office jobs, reaching out to 45,000 people it has placed in positions in the past 15 years and asking if friends or family would be willing to take on work. “This is a very tight labor market,” said Adam Kamins, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Most everyone who wants a job has one.” For workers, that’s good news. On the other hand, a tighter labor market presents several challenges to businesses. If they can’t find workers to meet the demand for their products, they can’t help the economy grow. They may instead opt to close the restaurant early or not run a third shift at the factory. Firms may need to pay more to attract workers, and some already are. That raises costs and would cut profit margins if higher prices can’t be passed on to customers. If prices are raised, that stokes stronger inflation, which already has been accelerating in recent months. Federal Reserve policy makers are watching closely. Emergence of worker shortages and stronger inflation could signal the economy is overheating, raising the need to lift interest rates more aggressively than the slow, moderate path they have signaled. For now, the market is opening up possibilities for those who have struggled in recent years. Geremy Mincey, 26 years old, had bounced between temporary jobs since dropping out of college seven years ago, working at factories, fast-food restaurants and even as the mall Easter Bunny. He would often go months between paychecks. Earlier this year, he landed a temporary job as a saw operator at Williams Metals and Welding Alloys in Birmingham, Ala. Last month, the firm asked him to take a full-time position with health benefits and retirement savings. “I feel like I broke the cycle,” he said.

More great economic news!!  For more, click on the text above.    🙂

Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low; Solid Hiring in May

The U.S. labor market was firing on all cylinders in May: the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low, employers added jobs at a faster pace and wages modestly improved. The unemployment rate ticked down to a seasonally adjusted 3.8%, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969, the Labor Department said Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 223,000 in May, a jump from gains from March and April. Average hourly earnings ticked up to a 2.7% from a year earlier—and raises were even stronger for nonmanagers. “It’s pretty hard to argue that the labor market is anything but right in the sweet spot,” said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America. “There is tremendous demand for labor right now.” U.S. employers have added to payrolls for 92 straight months, extending the longest continuous jobs expansion on record. And those gains are extending to all corners of the labor market. The unemployment rate for women, 3.6% last month, was the lowest since 1953, when far smaller share of women sought jobs. The jobless rates for blacks, Latinos and those without high-school diplomas are trending near record lows. A tighter labor market should also produce better wage growth, but overall gains have remained modest. Average hourly earnings for all private-sector workers increased 8 cents last month to $26.92. Wages for nonsupervisor workers are rising at a faster rate than overall wage increases for the first time since 2014. The nonsupervisor increase, 2.8% in May from a year earlier, was the best annual gain since mid-2009, when the recession just ended. Still, in April 2000 wages for those workers rose 3.9% from a year earlier. “The tight labor market is putting employers under enormous pressure to invest as much as necessary to retain their best employees and attract the best talent,” said Rebecca Henderson, chief executive of employment firm Randstad Sourceright. The historically low unemployment rate and growing wages should keep Federal Reserve policy makers in line to raise the central bank’s benchmark interest rate at a meeting later this month. Consumer inflation has strengthened in recent months to reach the Fed’s 2% annual target, another factor likely keeping the central bank in line to gradually lift rates further in an effort to make sure the economy doesn’t overheat. One factor holding wage gains in check is the ability of employers in the past year to bring Americans who have been out of the labor market back into the workforce and dissuade existing employees from retiring or otherwise exiting. In May, the share of American adults working or looking for a job edged down to 62.7%, but the share with jobs ticked up to 60.4%. Labor-force participation is up slightly from a recent low in 2015, but still near the smallest share of adults participating since the late 1970s.

Great news in this Trump economy!!   🙂

95,745,000: Record Number Not in Labor Force as Boomers Retire

The number of employed Americans has broken eight records since President Trump took office, but on the not-so-sunny side, the number of Americans not in the labor force also keeps increasing, breaking six records since Trump took office in January 2017. Last month, a record 95,745,000 Americans were counted as “not in the labor force,” meaning they are not employed and are not seeking a job, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statics. “This category includes retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work,” BLS said. With record numbers of people not in the labor force, the labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly low in recent years. In April, only 62.8 percent of the non-institutionalized, civilian population over the age of 16 was either working or actively looking for work. This compares with an all-time high of 67.3 percent in the first four months of 2000. In a March 2018 report, the Congressional Budget Office noted that a lower labor force participation rate is associated with lower gross domestic product and lower tax revenues. It is also associated with larger federal outlays, because people who are not in the labor force are more likely to enroll in federal benefit programs, including Social Security. This past January, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the labor force participation rate will continue to decline over the next 30 years from the current 62.8 percent to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047. According to that report, “The continued retirement of the baby-boom generation is the most important factor driving down the overall participation rate.” The first Baby Boomers — people born between 1946 and 1964 — turned 65 in 2011.

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Black, Hispanic unemployment rates hit record lows in April

The unemployment rate for black workers hit the lowest on record in April, according to the latest jobs figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. The unemployment rate for black workers dropped to 6.6 percent, beating the previous record low of 6.8 percent set in December. The jobless rate for Hispanics fell to 4.8 percent, tying the record reached last year and in 2006. Meanwhile, unemployment for white Americans stood at 3.6 percent. “There’s a heck of a lot of good news in this report,” Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said of the numbers on Fox Business. President Trump has trumpeted the historically low unemployment rates for minorities seen in recent months..

And well he should!  This is the news that CNN and MSNBC don’t want you to know about.  They’d rather focus on some Trump Tweet or Stormy Daniels (or her attorney); totally irrelevant fake news.

Wages Rise at Strongest Pace in Nearly a Decade

Compensation for American workers rose at the fastest annual pace since the third quarter of 2008, the Department of Labor said Friday. The employment cost index, which measures wages and benefits for civilian workers, rose 2.7 percent over the past year, according to the Labor Department. In the first three months of the year the index rose 0.8 percent, a strong showing. In the last quarter of 2017, the index rose 0.6 percent. The rising compensation figures indicate that low unemployment might be starting to give workers increasing bargaining power. When employers need new workers and unemployment is low, they are forced to offer better wages, benefits, and working conditions to lure workers out of their current positions. Alternatively, employers can petition the government to allow in more foreign workers to allow them to keep employment costs low. Private sector wages drove the increase, indicating that businesses were willing to pay more for workers. Private sector wages and salaries increased 2.9 percent in the January through March period, compared with an annual increase of 2.8 percent in the October through December period. Seventy percent of total compensation is in the form of wages and salaries. These rose 0.9 percent from the prior quarter, up from 0.5 percent.

“Rip-roaring” Job Market: Private payrolls grow by 241K in March vs. 205K estimate

Companies kept up the hiring pace in March, adding 241,000 positions as employment in construction and manufacturing surged, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics. Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting the report to show that private payrolls had gained by 205,000. This was the fifth straight month that the ADP/Moody’s count showed private payrolls up by at least 200,000, though March saw a slight decline from the upwardly revised 246,000 in February. On a year-over-year basis, March 2018 nearly doubled the 122,000 total from the previous year. “The job market is rip-roaring,” Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics’ chief economist, said in a statement. “Monthly job growth remains firmly over 200,000, double the pace of labor force growth. The tight labor market continues to tighten.” Job gains were broad-based, spread across both business size and sector. Service providers added 176,000 while goods-producing industries contributed 65,000. Construction and manufacturing led the latter category, adding 31,000 and 29,000 respectively. On the services side, professional and business led with 44,000, while trade, transportation and utilities was next with 40,000. Health care and social assistance added 28,000 while leisure and hospitality grew by 26,000. Medium-sized firms, with 50 to 499 employees, were the top jobs producers with 127,000 new hires, while large firms added 67,000 and small businesses rose by 47,000. The ADP/Moody’s report comes two days ahead of the closely watched nonfarm payrolls report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wall Street is looking for growth of about 185,000 and a decline in the unemployment rate to 4 percent from 4.1 percent.

More great news on the jobs front in this Trump economy!    🙂

U.S. jobless claims plunge to 49-year low of 210,000

The rate of layoffs as measured by U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1969, reflecting the strongest labor market since the end of the dotcom boom nearly two decades ago. Initial U.S. jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 210,000 in the seven days ended Feb. 24. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 226,000. New claims haven’t been this low since December 1969. The more stable monthly average of claims declined by 5,000 to 220,500, the government said Thursday. That’s also the lowest level since 1969.

Great news!!   🙂