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Financial & Economy | G-Fin™ | Grants

State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)

The Free Press WV

Unemployment rates were lower in July in 11 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Ten states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 40 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point from June to 3.9 percent and was 0.4 point lower than in July 2017.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 6 states in July 2018, decreased in 1 state, and was essentially unchanged in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 34 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 16 states and the District were essentially unchanged.


Unemployment

Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in July, 2.1 percent. The rate in Oregon (3.9 percent) set a new series low. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.9 percent. In total, 15 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.9 percent, 10 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

In July, 11 states had unemployment rate decreases, the largest of which were in Alaska, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, and South Carolina (-0.2 percentage point each). Two states had over-the-month rate increases: Louisiana (+0.2 percentage point) and Maine (+0.1 point). The remaining 37 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

Ten states had unemployment rate changes from July 2017, all of which were decreases. The largest decline occurred in New Mexico (-1.4 percentage points).


Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Six states had over-the-month increases in nonfarm payroll employment in July 2018. The largest increases occurred in California (+46,700), Florida (+27,400), and New Jersey (+13,000). In percentage terms, the largest increase occurred in Nevada (+0.7 percent), followed by Minnesota and Washington (+0.4 percent each). Vermont lost jobs over the month (-2,200, or -0.7 percent).

Thirty-four states had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in July. The largest job gains occurred in Texas (+377,100), California (+332,700), and Florida (+210,600). The largest percentage gain occurred in Utah (+3.5 percent), followed by Idaho and Nevada (+3.4 percent each).

U.S. Market Weekly Summary – Week Ending 08.17.2018

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.6% this week, with the telecommunications and consumer-staples sectors leading to the upside while the energy and materials sectors weighed amid declines in related commodities.

The market benchmark ended the week at 2850.13, up from last week’s closing level of 2,833.28. The weekly gain came as many sectors were boosted throughout the week by better-than-expected quarterly results and guidance. Stocks also got a boost late Friday as officials for the U.S. and China said the nations are planning talks to try to end their trade conflicts by November.

However, the energy and materials sectors still ended the week in the red as oil and copper prices fell on fears of an economic crisis in Turkey. Slight weekly declines were also recorded by the consumer-discretionary and technology sectors.

The telecommunications sector posted the largest weekly percentage gain, up 3.7%. CenturyLink (CTL) jumped 9.8% this week as investors and analysts continued to react positively to the networking company’s report last week of better-than-expected Q2 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and increased guidance for 2018 adjusted EBITDA. RBC raised its price target on the shares this week to $27 each from $22.

The consumer-staples sector had the second-largest percentage weekly increase, up 3.2%. Its climb came as Walmart (WMT) shares rose 8.5% on the week amid the big-box retailer’s report of better-than-expected fiscal Q2 results and a boost to its fiscal-year guidance.

The energy sector’s 3.6% drop came as crude-oil futures fell this week amid declines in the Turkish lira, a stronger dollar, and an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories. Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares, which were also hit by a US district court judge’s ruling that the company must face a lawsuit over climate-change accounting, slipped 1.5% on the week.

The materials sector fell 0.5% as copper futures entered bear-market territory earlier this week for the first time since November 2016. Shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), which is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, tumbled 7.5% this week.

She Applied for Work at a Job Fair. She Didn’t See the Camera

The Free Press WV

Ja’Naea Modest thought she’d been stealthy. On her lunch break from work Friday, the 33-year-old from Champaign, Ill., switched outfits, headed to a job fair, and filled out an application, thinking she needed a change from her current post at a nonprofit serving people with disabilities. “I came back, changed my clothes, and did the rest of my shift,“ she tells BuzzFeed. It wasn’t until she spotted WCIA’s late-afternoon news that she realized she’d been, well, less than covert. “So I didn’t want my current job to know I was looking for another job. Why the damn news filmed me at the job fair,“ she captioned a snapshot of her three-second TV cameo, shared 47,000 times since it was uploaded to Facebook, per CBS Chicago.

“They did a whole story on the job fair and at some point they zoomed in on me doing the application,“ Modest, who’s also a DJ, tells BuzzFeed, adding she had no idea she’d been filmed. She says she decided to broadcast her misfortune, which was then widely shared on Twitter and Reddit, because the whole town knew about her job search by that point. Her employer knows now, too, though no “upper reps” have “come to see or talk to me,“ Modest says. Then again, “I’m not trying to see them. I’m avoiding everyone like the plague.“ Still, she hopes her newfound fame will work in her favor. “Y’all put me on TV, put me on blast,“ but “everything happens for a reason ... that’s why I’m not mad at you,“ she tells a WCIA reporter in a Facebook video.

Productivity and Costs

The Free Press WV

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.9 percent during the second quarter of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 4.8 percent and hours worked increased 1.9 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018, productivity increased 1.3 percent, reflecting a 3.5-percent increase in output and a 2.2-percent increase in hours worked.

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector decreased 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018, reflecting a 2.0-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 2.9-percent increase in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.9 percent over the last four quarters.

BLS calculates unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity. Increases in hourly compensation tend to increase unit labor costs, and increases in output per hour tend to reduce them.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018, as output increased 1.9 percent and hours worked increased 1.0 percent. Productivity increased 0.9 percent in the durable manufacturing sector, as output rose 2.4 percent and hours worked increased 1.4 percent. In the non-durable goods manufacturing sector, a 1.1-percent increase in productivity reflected a 1.5-percent increase in output and a 0.4-percent increase in hours worked. Over the last four quarters, total manufacturing sector productivity decreased 0.2 percent, as output increased 1.8 percent and hours worked increased 2.1 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2018 and increased 2.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

The concepts, sources, and methods used for the manufacturing output series differ from those used in the business and nonfarm business output series; these output measures are not directly comparable.

Revised first-quarter 2018 measures were announced today for the nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity increased 3.0 percent in the first quarter of 2018 and increased 2.5 percent over the last four quarters. Unit profits of nonfinancial corporations increased at a 5.5-percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2018 and increased 0.3 percent over the last four quarters.


Revised measures

Measures of output for the business, nonfarm business, and nonfinancial corporate sectors, and measures of compensation for all sectors incorporate revised National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) data for first-quarter 1947 through first-quarter 2018 released on July 27 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce. As a result, all measures incorporating output and compensation were revised, including labor productivity and unit labor costs. The revisions affected both annual and quarterly data, with the revisions to quarterly data being more substantial, due to the incorporation of improved historical seasonal adjustment methodology by BEA. Measures of output for the manufacturing sectors incorporate regular updates of source data for the first quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2017. Hours and related measures were revised back to 2000 for the business and nonfarm business sectors due to revised NIPA data on government enterprises employment and on the proportion of sector compensation paid to employees of nonprofit institutions. Hours and related measures were revised back to 2000 for the nonfinancial corporate sector due to the incorporation of revised NIPA data on the proportion of sector compensation paid to employees of corporations. Indexes of all measures show historical revisions because the base year was changed from 2009 to 2012; resulting revisions to percent changes are small.

Nonfarm business sector productivity increased 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018—similar to the previously reported estimate (0.4 percent)—reflecting a 0.1-percentage point downward revision to output. (See table B1.) An upward revision to first-quarter unit labor costs—from an increase of 2.9 percent to an increase of 3.4 percent—reflected a 0.4-percentage point upward revision to hourly compensation and a 0.1-pecentage point downward revision to productivity. Real hourly compensation increased 0.2 percent after revision, rather than decreasing 0.2 percent as previously published.

Historical revisions to labor productivity in the nonfarm business sector affected the full historical period since 1947, with notable periods of upward revision in the latter 1990s and latter 2000s. The average annual rate of productivity growth from 2007 to 2017—representing the current business cycle—was revised up 0.1 percentage point, to a rate of 1.3 percent. The productivity growth rate over the last business cycle, from 2001 to 2007, was also revised up 0.1 percentage point, to a rate of 2.7 percent. Earlier business cycle trends also remained largely unchanged. Unit labor costs revisions were also for the full historical period since 1947, reflecting both revisions to labor productivity and hourly compensation, and show notable downward revisions in the latter 2000s. There was also a large upward revision in 2017, due to a large upward revision to hourly compensation in that year. 

Annual average productivity growth in the nonfarm business sector in 2017 was revised down 0.2 percentage point to an increase of 1.1 percent. Unit labor costs increased 2.2 percent in the nonfarm business sector in 2017, rather than increasing 0.4 percent, reflecting both a 1.7-percentage point upward revision to hourly compensation and a 0.2-percentage point downward revision to productivity. Real hourly compensation increased 1.2 percent in 2017, rather than decreasing 0.5 percent as previously reported.

Manufacturing sector productivity decreased 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2018—a smaller decline than previously reported. Productivity was revised up 0.9 percentage point, to an increase of 0.1 percent in the durable goods sector, and was revised down 0.5 percentage point, to a decrease of 1.4 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Unit labor costs increased 5.5 percent in the manufacturing sector rather than increasing 5.2 percent as reported June 6. Unit labor costs were revised down 1.2 percentage points, to an increase of 5.5 percent in the durable goods sector, and were revised up 2.5 percentage points, to an increase of 3.4 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Total manufacturing real hourly compensation increased 0.9 percent, as revised.
     
Annual average manufacturing productivity grew 0.7 percent in 2017, unrevised from the previously reported estimate. Productivity was also unrevised in the manufacturing sector in 2016 and 2015. Unit labor costs were revised up to an increase of 2.6 percent in 2017, reflecting a 1.6-percentage point upward revision to hourly compensation. After revision, manufacturing real hourly compensation increased 1.1 percent in 2017 rather than decreasing 0.4 percent.

Nonfinancial corporate sector productivity growth was revised up in the first quarter of 2018, to an increase of 3.0 percent, rather than the previously published increase of 1.9 percent; this revision was due solely to a 1.1-percentage point upward revision to output; hours were unrevised.

Annual average productivity in the nonfinancial corporate sector increased 1.6 percent in 2017, an upward revision from the preliminary estimate of a 1.0-percent increase. (See tables C1 and 6.) Though the rate over the current business cycle—from 2007 to 2017—increased at the same 1.0-percent rate as was reported June 6, there were notable revisions in some of the years of this period, particularly three consecutive 0.3-percentage point upward revisions, in 2011, 2012, and 2013, followed by a 0.9-percentage point downward revision in 2014.

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