The rate of unemployment in the United States reached a record low by the end of April, which is said to have the lowest rate of unemployment in the last 50 years. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, and the month of April will be the 14th consecutive month to record an unemployment rate below 4 percent. While the drop in the rate of unemployment appears to be a good sign for the economy on the outset, this statistic alone does not show the entire picture.
The Employment Situation Report for the month of April suggested that the US economy added no less than 263,000 jobs in the month of April. Along with the decline in the rate of unemployment, the United States economy has also witnessed another highly encouraging development.
The wage growth in the last nine continuous months has been over 3%, with the month of April recording a rise in the wage rate by 3.2%. The United States economy has witnessed the wage rate growth in such continuity for the first time since the great recession of 2008-09.
As the United States enter into a positive time-period with respect to the growth of employment rate, the government still have a major concern to address. The concern being, the 3.6% unemployment rate does not completely encapsulate the actual state of the matters on the grassroots level.
The official unemployment rate only includes those in the ‘labor force’. To remain in the labor force, the requirement is that one must have looked for an employment opportunity in the last four weeks.
The real unemployment rate, as opposed to the official unemployment rate, also includes the underemployed, the marginally attached, and discouraged workers. As a result, the real employment rate is considered to be more comprehensive as it represents a larger set of people who are at the bottom of the labor market.
The rate of real unemployment in the US is 7.3% for the month of April. Also, the reduction in the main unemployment rate is coincided with a decline in the labor force participation by 0.2 percentage point, which currently stands at 62.8%.
The records show that the share of people working or actively looking for work has seen a bare minimum change in the last seven years. This shows that aspects such as job mobility, combined with mediocre wage rate growth is not helping the employees grow in reality.
To counter this and provide a more organic environment for the employees and the employers, the government must come up with a comprehensive job creation strategy. The government must also cater to those who are not in the ‘labor force’, along with those who are currently seeking a job to see more sustainable growth in the economy of the United States.
The United States already gives importance to the start-ups to make sure that more and more people get opportunities. Start-ups are also said to produce a large number of jobs due to the sheer number of new ventures that come out every year. The successive governments over the years have spent a lot of amount of money to provide an organic infrastructure to help start-ups to prosper.
The issue here is that, in spite of the investment and support, nearly 75% of the start-ups fail in the early years. Also, Startups that have less than 20 employees generally have a negligible effect on net job creation until they pass the 5-year period.
The government must diversify its policy programs beyond the start-ups, which is currently given high importance with respect to job creation. Sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and health care have been steadily increasing the intake of people. Governments providing incentives to these industries to create more jobs will help in creating more stable jobs. This may help in bringing down the number of underemployed and marginally attached workers.
There is a need for the government of the US to diversify its purview beyond the start-ups and look to provide incentives for high-impact companies that are locally based to accelerate the next level of growth.
When it comes to the employment situation in April, the unemployment rate is the lowest in 50 years at 3.6 percent while nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000. The major job gains were in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.
Household Survey Data
This is the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. The rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in April. Also, there was a decrease of 387,000 unemployed persons and this reduced to 5.8 million overall.
In the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined:
- Adult Men – 3.4 percent
- Adult Women – 3.1 percent
- Whites – 3.1 percent
- Asians – 2.2 percent
- Hispanics – 4.2 percent
- Teenagers – 13 percent
- Blacks – 6.7 percent
The number of job losers and people that completed temporary jobs declined by 186,000 over the month to 2.7 million. While at the same time, the number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 222,000 to 1.9 million. Similarly, the long-term unemployed was little changed at 1.2 million in April and accounted for 21.1 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate was unchanged from a year earlier. It declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in the month of April. Also, the employment-population ratio has remained unchanged at 60.6 percent in April and this has been either 60.6 percent to 60.7 since October 2018.
For economic reasons, there were some people that worked part-time and this changed a little at 4.7 million in April. These were mostly individuals that preferred full-time employment and were working part time because their hours had been reduced or unable to find full-time work.
With regard to the employment situation, 1.4 million people were marginally attached to the labor force in April. These individuals were not in the labor force and were looking for work for 12 months. There were 454,000 discouraged workers in April which was about the same as last year. Discouraged workers are people that are not currently looking for work because they feel that there are no jobs available for them. The remaining 963,000 attached to the labor force had not searched for work as they had school attendance and family responsibilities to tend to.
Establishment Survey Data
In the employment situation, the nonfarm payroll employment had increased by 263,000 in April as compared to the monthly gain of 213,000 over the last 12 months. The major job gainers were in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.
There were 76,000 jobs in the professional and business services category. Administrative and support services increased by 53,000 and 14,000 in computer systems design and related services. In the last 12 months, professional and business services added 535,000 jobs.
Construction employment grew by 33,000 and this saw gains in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors by 22,000 and heavy and civil engineering construction by 10,000. The construction added 256,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
In health care, employment grew by 27,000 and 404,000 over the past 12 months. The ambulatory health care services increased by 17,000, hospitals by 8,000 and community care facilities for the elderly at 7,000. Also, social assistance added 26,000 jobs over the month.
Employment for financial activities continued to trend up by 12,000. The industry has added 110,000 jobs over the last 12 months with almost three-fourths of the growth seen in rental, leasing and real estate.
There was little change in manufacturing for a third month in succession and it increased by 4000 in April. 12 months prior to February, this industry had added 22,000 jobs per month.
Retail employment was down by 12,000 and 9,000 job losses were in merchandise stores. But at this time motor vehicle and parts dealers added 8,000 jobs.
Other major industries that showed little change in April were mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government.
The total nonfarm payroll employment was changed from 33,000 to 56,000 for February while March was changed from 196,000 to 189,000. Based on these revisions, employment increased by 16,000 more than what was previously reported.
In March, the total non-farm payroll increased by 196,000 while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent. The major gainers were in the field of health care and people employed in technical and professional services.
Household Survey Data
While the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.8 percent, the number of people unemployed was 6.2 million.
The major work groups include:
- Adult Men – 3.6 percent
- Adult Women – 3.3 percent
- Teenagers – 12.8 percent
- Whites – 3.4 percent
- Blacks – 6.7 percent
- Asians – 3.1 percent
- Hispanics – 4.7 percent
1.3 million of the population are jobless for 27 weeks or more and this accounts for 21.1 percent of the unemployed. At 63 percent, the labor force participation rate was little changed over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent in March and has been either 60.6 percent or 60.7 percent since October 2018.
Part time employed people was little changed at 4.5 million in March. These individuals would have preferred full-time employment were working part time because their hours were reduced or there were no more full-time jobs.
1.4 million people were attached to the labor force which is slightly different from a year earlier. These individuals were not part of the labor force, were ready to work and have looked for jobs for the last 12 months.
In March, there were 412,000 discouraged workers in March which remained unchanged from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people that are not looking for work as they believe that there are no jobs in the market for them. While the remaining 944,000 people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work for reasons like family responsibilities and school attendance.
Establishment Survey Data
As discussed earlier, the total non-farm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March. It saw notable gains in health care and in technical and professional services. The employment growth averaged 180,000 per month during the first quarter of 2019 as compared to 223,000 per month in 2018.
The Health Care industry added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the last 12 months. In March, the employment in ambulatory health care services increased by 27,000, hospitals by 14,000 and nursing and residential care facilities by 9,000.
Technical and professional employment grew by 34,000 in the month of March and 311,000 over the past 12 months. At the same time, computer systems design and related services added 12,000 jobs. While architectural and engineering jobs increased by 6,000 and technical and management jobs increased by 6,000.
The employment in drinking places and food services had an upward trend of 27,000 with an average monthly again over 12 months. Construction employment showed little change in March to 16,000 but increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing employment decreased by 6,000 in March following an increase of 1,000 in February. In the 12 months prior to February, manufacturing had added an average of 22,000 jobs every month. But in the motor vehicle and parts industry, it declined by 6,000 in March.
There are major industries which include mining, retail and wholesale trade, warehousing, transportation, financial activities, government and information sectors which showed a small change over the month.
The average workweek for employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek remained unchanged at 40.7 hours and the production and non supervisory employees increased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
In the month of March, the average hourly earnings on private non-farm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $27.7 and increased 3.2 percent in the last 12 months. Similarly, the average hourly earnings increased by 3.2 percent and the average earnings of the private sector production and non supervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $23.24 in March.
The total change in non-farm payroll employment from January was revised up from 311,000 to 312,000 and the change in February was revised from 20,000 to 33,000. Based on these revisions, employment gains in January and February were 14,000 more. After revisions, job gains average 180,000 per month over the last 3 months.
The total nonfarm payroll employment in February changed a little by 20,000 as compared to January. The unemployment rate has decreased to 3.8 percent. The main reason for improvement in unemployment rate is based on professional and business services, wholesale trade, health care that saw a trend up while construction employment decreased.
Household Survey Data
The overall unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February while number of unemployed people decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Those that lost their jobs and completed temporary jobs declined by 225,000. The decline could be based on the return of federal workers to work that were furloughed in January due to the partial government shutdown.
Looking at the unemployment of various groups, you can get an understanding of unemployment situation based on how it has fared in the same month in the previous year.
||Unemployment Rate (February 2019)
||Unemployment Rate (February 2018)
People that were long-term unemployed remained unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4 percent of the total unemployed. The labor force participation has changed a little over a year with a rate at 63.2 percent. Similarly, the employment-population ratio was at 60.7 percent. This remained unchanged over the month as it was up by 0.3 percentage points over last year.
Based on economic reasons, the number of people employed part time decreased by 837,000 to 4.3 million in February. This decline follows a sharp increase in January which was a result of the federal government shutdown.
Also in February, 1.4 million people were marginally attached to the labor force and this decreased by 178,000 since the previous year. These individuals were not part of the labor force, were available to work and were actively looking for a job in the past 12 months. Another group were the 428,000 discouraged workers in February which changed very slightly from the previous year. While the remaining 1 million people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work due to reasons like family responsibilities and school attendance.
Establishment Survey Data
While the total nonfarm payroll employment remained little changed of 20,000 after increasing by 311,000 in January. Similarly, in 2018 it average at 223,000 per month. But in February the main sources of employment were in professional and business services, wholesale trade and health care. But at the same time employment of construction declined.
The professional and business services continued to edge up at 42,000 with its average monthly gain of 12 months. Health care added 21,000 jobs with over 361,000 jobs added over the year. Even employment in the ambulatory health care services increased by 16,000.
The wholesale trade employment has an upward trend of 11,000. The industry added 95,000 jobs over the year which is largely among the durable goods wholesalers.
But in February, construction employment declined by 31,000 which was due to a partial offset of an increase of 53,000 jobs in January. The main employment in construction declined in heavy and civil engineering construction was 13,000. But over the year, construction added 223,000 jobs. Similarly, manufacturing employment changed little in February to 4,000 after an increase of 22,000 per month.
The month of February saw that the employment in the leisure and hospitality industry remained unchanged after it posted job gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December. Over the year, it has added 410,000 jobs. There was little or no change in major industries like retail trade, mining, transportation, warehousing, financial activities and government.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment was revised from 222,000 to 227,000 and saw a change in January from 304,000 to 311,000. Based on these revisions, employment gains in both December and January were 12,000 more than it was reported earlier. After the revisions, the job gains now average at 186,000 per month in the last 3 months
In January, the total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 as compared to December which had an increase of 312,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has increased from 3.7 percent to 4 percent and this could be attributed to the Shutdown which lasted for 35 days from December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019.
Household Survey Data
There has been a 0.3 percent increase in the unemployment rate and the number of people unemployed now stands at 6.5 million. Those that were impacted due to the partial federal government shutdown were reported as being on temporary layoff which has increased by 175,000. This figure includes those that were furloughed federal employees that were classified as unemployed during the temporary layoff.
When it comes to determining the unemployment of various groups, you can get a fair understanding of how the country has fared during the same period, in the previous year.
There was a little change in the number of long-term unemployed at 1.3 million and this accounted for 19.3 percent of unemployed individuals. The labor force participation rate was at 63.2 percent and the employment to population ratio is at 60.7 percent. These measures are up 0.5 percent over the year. Another important mention is that the number of people employed part-time has increased by one-half million to 5.1 million in January. Also, in January, 1.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force which was unchanged from a year earlier. There were 426,000 discouraged workers in January and the remaining 1.2 million people were marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work because of school attendance and family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data Total
The nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January as compared to the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. While in January, the employment grew in several industries like warehousing, transportation, construction, health care, and hospitality. There are no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown for estimates based on earnings, hours or employment.
The employment rose in the hospitality and leisure by 74,000 while the job gains were mostly from food services and drinking places (37,000) and amusements, recreation and gambling which increased by 32000. Over the past year, leisure and hospitality alone added 410,000 jobs.
Another major contributor to job gains is through the special trade contractors which increased in both nonresidential (19,000) and residential components (15,000). Employment rose in the heavy and civil engineering construction by 10,000 and residential building by 9,000. In the past 12 months, 338,000 jobs were added in the construction sector.
In the health care industry, employment increased by 42,000 while the largest contributors were ambulatory health care services (22,000) and hospitals (19,000). Health care added 368,000 jobs over the past year and over the month, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 27,000. Retail trade employment edged up by 21,000 while general merchandise stores lost 12,000 jobs.
The mining industry has added 64,000 jobs over the year as the employment increased by 7,000 in January. Professional and business services continue to trend up over the month and it has increased by 546,000 in the last 12 months. Manufacturing has seen an uptrend with 261,000 jobs being added over the year. There has been an increase of 20,000 jobs in durable goods while there is a decline of 7,000 in non-durable goods.
When it comes to employment in the Federal government, it has remained unchanged in January with an increase in 1,000 jobs. Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as employed because they worked or received pay for the period that included 12th of the month.
The total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from 176,000 to 196,000 and the change for December was revised from 312,000 to 222,000. Based on these revisions, the employment gains in November and December combined were 70,000 more. This makes the job gains an average of 241,000 per month over the past three months.
This suggests that though there has been an increase in the number of jobs in several industries, the main job gainers in the industry were leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.
Total employment in the nonfarming sector has seen a considerable rise in the month of December. The nonfarm sector witnessed an addition of 312,000 jobs, which in comparison to November (added 155,000 jobs), is substantial growth. The rate of unemployment, however, increased in December from 3.7% in November to 3.9%, in spite of the job additions. The employment situation in December has also influenced by major government decisions such as the partial Federal Government Shutdown.
Household Survey Data
The month of December saw an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. By the end of the month, the number of unemployed people was increased by 276,000, taking the overall unemployment figure to 6.3 million. This indicates a marginal increase in the number of unemployed persons from the previous month, which stood at 6 million. The situation during December 2018, however, still appears to be an improvement from the situation prevalent in December 2017, when the United States had 6.6 million unemployed persons at this time.
The unemployment rate of various groups gives a broader picture of how the country has fared when compared during the same time, last year.
Unemployment Rate (December 2018)
Unemployment Rate (December 2017)
This is further elucidated in the chart below:
The above representation shows that the rate of unemployment has decreased in 2018 when compared to 2017. However, the numbers in December have marginally increased compared with the previous month.
The month of December witnessed a minor change in the data of job-leavers and those who are long-term unemployed. Job-leavers are those who have quit their jobs and have immediately started looking for a new job, and long-term unemployed persons are those who have not been employed for at least 27 weeks or more. The number of job-leavers has increased by 142,000 in the month of December, which takes the overall tally for the year to 839,000. On the other hand, the number of long-term unemployed has seen a marginal decrease, coming down from 20.8% of overall unemployed to 20.5%.
Coming to the situation of labor force participation rate and employment participation ratio, there have been some minuscule changes. The data for December shows that the former has seen a marginal increase from 62.9% in November to 63.1%, whereas the latter remained unchanged for the third consecutive month, standing at 60.06%.
The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce and the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons too have come down in December. The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce reduced from 1.7 million in November to 1.6 million in December, and the persons employed part time for economic reasons came down from 4.8 million in November to 4.7 million. Also, it is worthwhile to note that the number of discouraged workers, those who believe that there are no jobs for them at present, has come down by 99,000 from 2017.
Establishment Survey Data
The total increase in the non-farm payroll employment for the month of December has doubled from November. The total increase in the month of November was 155,000, whereas a total increase in December is noted to be 312,000. Much of the job-gain has occurred in healthcare, manufacturing, food services, construction, and retail.
Continuing the growth from November, the healthcare sector has been a leading employer in the month of December as well. The sector has added nearly 50,000 jobs in the month of December. Within the healthcare sector, major recruiters have been ambulatory services (adding nearly 38,000 jobs) and hospitals (adding 7000 jobs). The total number of people recruited by the healthcare industry in 2018 is 346,000.
Construction and manufacturing have contributed 38,000 and 32,000 jobs respectively in December. Within the construction industry, job gains were made by nonresidential trade construction and civil engineering (both adding 16,000 jobs respectively). Within the manufacturing industry, a large number of jobs were added by manufacturing durable goods component (added 19,000 jobs) and manufacturing fabricated metal products (added 7000 jobs). The construction industry added a total of 280,000 jobs in 2018, and the contribution from the manufacturing sector stands at 207,000 jobs for the year.
Due to the increase in recruitment by the general merchandising stores (adding 15,000 jobs) and automobile dealers (adding 6000 jobs), the overall retail sector has added a total of 24,000 jobs to the American economy in the month of December. However, the employment rate in sectors such as mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government remains unchanged in December.
This suggests that those who are on the lookout for a new employment opportunity, healthcare, manufacturing, constructing and retail are recruiting in large numbers, as opposed to other industries in the country.
The US government has been in partial shutdown since December 22, 2018, as President Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion for the border wall between US and Mexico. At this time, since the Democrats control the House, they continue to suggest that they won’t agree to any new money for the wall. Though Trump would not declare a state of national emergency, the White House has already started the groundwork in the event that a major problem arises. Till date, this is the longest shutdown in the history of America.
What Does This Shutdown Mean?
This partial government shutdown would lead to a serious impact on the 800,000 federal employees including the essential jobs that are required to work without pay. This would suggest that most government offices and national monuments would not be functional. As of now, it is difficult to predict layoffs or companies closing down or seeing companies slash up to one-third of its staff due to mergers and acquisitions.
Why the Shutdown?
President Trump stated that he would not relent till the Democrats come to an understand and would go to the extent of using even Disaster Relief Funds to ensure that he has enough financial backing to complete the Wall. Owing to this, President Trump suggested that he would even militarize the border and improve the border security to safeguard the American people.
What to Expect With the Government Shutdown?
Currently, the Federal Government gets its funding from the annual budget appropriations that is governed by the Congress. While the majority of the government has funding in place since the budget was initiated on October 1, 2018, there are still agencies that are operating on temporary extensions which expired at midnight on December 21, 2018.
Workers are in a fix as funding was not enacted for those agencies during the shutdown. This leaves several employees working for those agencies that have stayed on the job even with furloughs.
In both cases, these employees will remain unpaid until the spending authority is restored. Those that remain at work are called Excepted while those that are furloughed are called Non-excepted. In this period individual agencies would help make decisions in what the government calls Contingency Plans.
How to Survive a Government Shutdown?
The best way to prepare for this kind of crisis is to have a Financial Fire Drill (FFD) in place. This FFD is a focused look at essential expenses and how you would be able to cover them during a no-work period. This includes a list of resources and the answer to all the what-ifs. This is where you should prepare yourself on how to answer an interview.
How Much Should You Save to Be in the Clear?
When you come to think about it, you should try to be financially secure to ensure that when push comes to shove, you have enough resources for you and your family. This actually is quite liberating as you can learn to get by on $1,000 a month till things get better.
You should try to develop a habit of saving and if you have, then your healthy emergency fund can be used for an occasion like this one. While it is suggested that you save for three to six months’ worth of expenses, it would be advisable to save for a year’s worth. Though in theory, it could be difficult, it can be made possible.
Though the main point would be to save on the emergency fund and spend it. There are cases of emergencies where you cannot be fully covered. Also, if it takes more than three months to find a new job or recover from a health issue then you still have to pay the bills and this emergency fund would come in handy.
Similarly, you should learn to perform better at work and learn new skills while on the job to ensure that you are up to date with the current state of affairs.
Claim Your Unemployment Benefits
If you are among the 800,000 federal employees or among the many that have lost their job or have furloughed your work then you can apply for unemployment benefits.
How do you apply for benefits, you ask?
Firstly, you will have to apply online to WorkForce West Virginia website or visit the nearest WorkForce office for help.
Secondly, submit the Notification of Personnel Action (SFSO) or a Notice to Federal Employee About Unemployment Insurance (SF8).
Thirdly, as furloughed federal employees, you should upload past check stubs to the application to expedite the process. Though furloughed federal employees are not required to seek employment to receive benefits, they would be expected to reach an agreement with Congress to back pay once the shutdown has ended.
Use our Resources and Tools to Your Benefit
If you are in a tight spot and need help to find employment then you should take a look at some of our resources in order to ensure that you are well on your way. You also need to figure out how you can get hired after a career break, we have the right resources to help you on your way.
Don’t forget to use our host of tools like the Base Period Calculator, Benefits Calculator, and the Eligibility Calculator to help determine your benefits amount that you should receive. This way you can figure out what your base period is, determine the benefits that you are due and whether you are officially eligible to claim your benefits.
With the Base Period Calculator, you can determine what your base period which is the months prior to losing your job. These are the usually the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the claim/unemployment.
Similarly, you can use the Benefits Calculator to determine what is the amount of benefits that you are due based on your base period.
But before you determine your benefits, you should check out the Eligibility Calculator to know whether you are eligible for benefits and if you are actively searching for a job.
If you have any questions about how to use these tools or need any information about how to get your benefits then you can reach out to us in the comments section below. Don’t feel shy, we’re all ears!
Total employment in the non-farm category increased by 155,000 for the month of November. The rate of employment has remained unchanged at 3.7%, as per the reports of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also states that sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing have recorded job gains.
Household Survey Data
The rate of unemployment remained unchanged for the third month in a row at 3.7%, and the number of unemployed persons changed marginally standing at 6 million. In the course of the year, however, the number of people unemployed and the rate of unemployment declined by 641,000 and 0.40% percentage point respectively.
The unemployment rate for various groups can be found in the table below:
|Group Group ||Unemployment Rate |
|Men ||3.3% |
|Women || 3.4%|
| Teenagers ||12%|
The above data indicate that there are little to no changes in comparison to the previous month.
The rates of labor force participation and the employment-population ratio, remain unchanged at 62.9 percent and 60.06 percent. The numbers of persons employed part time for economic reasons, however, changed a little, standing at 4.8 million.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) has come down by 120,000, with the overall figure now standing at 1.3 million for November. This group accounted for 20.8% of the overall rate unemployment rate. These involuntary part-time workers seek full-time employment but end up with part-time jobs because of either their due to the reduction in their working hours or due to the inability to find full-time job opportunities.
In November, 1.7 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, which is said to be an increase of 197,000 from the previous year. These people were not in the labour force in the previous year and were not counted as unemployed as they did not make an attempt to find employment.
Among the marginally attached, it is said that 453,000 people are identified as discouraged workers. Discouraged workers do not look for work in the current scenario as they believe that there are no jobs available for them. The other 1.2 million people are marginally attached to the labor force, as they have not looked for work due to commitments such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data
In November, the total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000, which is lesser than the average monthly gain in the previous 12 months, which stands at 209,000. Healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing sectors were some of the areas that witnessed job gains in the given month.
The healthcare sector added 32,000 jobs in November. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory healthcare services, adding 19,000 jobs and hospitals adding 13,000 jobs. Over the year, the healthcare sector has added 328,000 jobs.
The manufacturing sector has added 27,000 jobs, with chemicals and primary metals adding 6,000 and 3,000 jobs respectively, in November. Overall, the manufacturing sector has added 288,000 jobs in the course of the year, largely in durable goods industries.
Transportation and warehousing sector has reportedly added 25,000 jobs in November. Within the industry, growth occurred in couriers and messengers, adding 10,000 jobs and warehousing and storage, adding 6,000 jobs. Over the year, this sector has added 192,000 jobs.
Other industries that have experienced job growth in November include professional and business services, which added 32,000 jobs, retail trade added 18000 jobs, merchandise stores added 39,000 jobs and miscellaneous store retailers added 10,000 jobs.
There were also industries that recorded a decline in job growth, such as the clothing and cloth accessories industries lost 14,000 jobs, electronics and appliance stores lost 11,000 jobs and sports, books and hobby stores lost 11,000 jobs.
The drop in soybean exports and the record high increase in imports of consumer goods has created a US trade deficit which is at a 10-year high. This would mean that the Trump administration’s tariff-related measures to reduce the trade gap have been ineffective.
New data suggests that private employers hired fewer workers than expected in November and this points to the moderation in the pace of the job growth. This was reinforced by yet another report that showed a decline in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits.
The report maintains that weak housing and business spending on equipment data signals a slowdown in economic growth. There have been concerns over the health of the economy that has upset the financial markets in the last few days.
Increase in Trade Deficit
Also, the Commerce Department suggested that the trade deficit has increased by 1.7% to $55.5 billion, the highest its ever been since October 2008. This trade gap has widened for 5 straight months. Revised data show that there is a deficit rising to $54.6 billion instead of the previously reported $54 billion.
Similarly, the politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China has surged 7.1% to record $43.1 billion in October. There is a bitter trade war which is brewing between the United States and China. There are imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to force concession on the list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two countries.
Sino-American Trade War
China has now created new import tariffs on US goods in response. President Trump accuses Beijing of not playing fairly on trade. Additionally, to the Chinese goods, Washington was slapped with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States. While President Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on imposing more tariffs for 90 days while they negotiate a deal to end this trade dispute.
After the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of its founder, this truce seems to be in jeopardy.
The overall trade deficit is forecast to rise to $55 billion in October. When it is adjusted for inflation, the good trade deficit was increased to $87.9 billion in October from $87.2 billion in September. This so-called real trade deficit above the average for the third quarter.
Trade, Stocks, and Exports
Trade subtracted 1.91 percentage points from GDP growth in the July-September quarter. Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are at 2.8% annualized rate. But owing to this, the economy still grew at a 3.5% pace in the third quarter.
But US stocks are trading sharply after Wanzhou’s arrest which has sparked fears between the Sino-US tensions. Also, the prices of the US Treasuries were trading higher while the dollar was weaker against several other currencies. Also, in October, exports of goods and services slipped by 0.1% to $211 billion. China has targeted the Soybean exports in the trade dispute and this has been dropping for the last several months and fell $0.8 billion. Exports of civilian aircraft and engines also fell.
Additionally, exports of petroleum and consumer goods were the highest on record. A strong dollar is probably restraining the overall export growth.
Imports Reach a Record High
With the trade deficit reaching an all-time high, this would mean that imports would have sky-rocketed. Imports of goods and services rose by 0.2 percent to $266.5 billion which is an all-time high. Consumer goods imports increased by $2 billion to a record high of $57.4 billion and were boosted by a $1.5 billion increase in imports of pharmaceutical preparations.
Another item that reached its highest record is motor vehicles as were other imports of goods. Imports are driven by high domestic demand as well as the strong dollar which is making the prices of imported goods cheaper and this offsets the impact of the tariffs.
At the same time, the ADP National Employment Report showed private payrolls rose by 179,000 jobs in November after the downwardly revised increase of 225,000 in October.
The forecasts show that private payrolls advanced 195,000 last month following a previously reported 227,000 increase in October.
This ADP report which was jointly developed with the help of Moody’s Analytics published ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report for November which is scheduled for release on Friday.
Nonfarm payrolls are likely increased by 200,000 in November after surging by 250,000 in October. The unemployment rate is forecast holding steady at half a century low of 3.7%.
Though the ADP report is a record that predicts the private payrolls component of the government’s employment report, job growth looks like its slowing. The main reason for this is due to the shortage of qualified workers.
The Decline in Hiring and Claims
In its third report, the Labor Department expressed that the initial claims for the state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to seasonally adjusted 231,000 for the week ended Dec. 1. Even though claims have fallen to 225,000 in the latest week, claims have risen for three straight weeks touching an eight-month high of 235,000 during the week ending November 24.
This is a reason to believe that the labor market has reached its peak. While job layoffs have increased, there is an uncertainty over facing tariffs and the stock market turbulence may have to be dented confidence as well, for companies that are trimming their staff.
The fourth report by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) expressed that its non-manufacturing activity index rose 0.4 points to a reading last month of 60.7. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector which accounts for more than two-thirds of activity in the US economy.
But this time around, the ISM’s employment measure fell 1.3 points last month with employers in the construction industry reporting difficulties finding workers due to lack of qualified talent. Only time will tell if job growth would be triggered by policy-making and the change in trend in the job market.
You can read more about the unemployment situation in the US and stay updated.
The Total non-farm payroll employment in the United States rose by 250,000 in October and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Job gains occurred in the health care industries, manufacturing, construction, and in transportation
and warehousing industries.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate in the United States remained at 3.7 percent in the month of October and the number of unemployed persons changed a little at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for
adult men (3.5 percent),
adult women (3.4 percent),
teenagers (11.9 percent),
Whites (3.3 percent),
Blacks (6.2 percent),
Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no
change in October.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4 percentage point over the year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 984,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, following an average monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.
Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.
In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment (+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable
Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year, construction has added 330,000 jobs.
Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly
gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.
In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up
(+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.
Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for mining.
Employment in other major industries–including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government-showed little change over the month.
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