The gains you see here over the past five months square up nicely with what we have been reading about the building of business inventories. This is where the inventories first get processed. And, we know from looking at some of the trade data, that imports of both consumer and industrial goods accelerated in the […]
This chart is one of the reasons the headline numbers for January and February look the way they do. The drop in employment in February included every category in the construction sector. Construction of buildings was down 4,600. Heavy construction was down 13,200. Specialty trade contractors (the people who work inside to finish structures) was […]
These numbers are harder to read, mostly because they are subject to major revisions. The total change you see on the chart was the result of another bunch of small ups and downs combining, in this case, to a small up. The question now, as it was at this time last year when we saw […]
Retail employment was down 6,100 mainly because Health and Personal care stores, who employ 1,048,000 of the 15,826,600 people who work in retail, shed 11,700 jobs. Department stores, who employ 1,133,200 people, shed 9,000 jobs. That combined decline was largely offset by a bunch (used it again) of small gains and losses in the rest […]
Health care looks to have reverted to the mean in February following large gains in both December and January. I don’t read this as a sign of weakness. Employment at ambulatory health care services was up 15,500. The gain for the sector as a whole was 22,500. Health care employment has been up in the […]
In January, paced by large gains in arts, entertainment and recreation, this series added an upwardly revised 89,000 jobs to total payrolls. In February, paced by a small decline in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector that was perfectly offset by a gain in the accommodation and food services category, the net change was zero. […]
Last year, we had a very strong report in February for pretty much the same reasons we had a strong report this January. Everything went in the same direction. And, as you see on the chart, February was the outlier. But we did not know that for sure until much later. The question will be […]
The February job report is a perfect example of why the National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] waits at least six months before using the employment data to date a business cycle event. Total Nonfarm Payrolls is one of the four coincident indicators that the NBER uses to make its determination of whether or not […]
This statistic compares the number of people who lose their jobs in a given month to those who leave their jobs during that same month. The ratio goes down over the course of the expansion both because fewer lose their jobs as employment conditions improve and because more people voluntarily leave their jobs as employment conditions improve. This statistic makes its bottom before the end […]
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