All Articles Tagged "jobs report"

Jobs Report Shows More Hiring Among Better Paying Jobs

May 11th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Experts say that last week’s jobs report was not only good news for the declining unemployment rate, but also for the kinds of jobs that are being created nowadays. Higher paying jobs in areas such as professional services, construction and health care are now becoming more common.

For a while, the unemployment rate was creeping downward, but oftentimes it was because low-wage jobs, such as those in retail and food services, and people who just stopped looking after long and fruitless searches. Now we’re seeing more jobs that pay a living wage being added to the economy. Construction added 45,000 jobs, professional and business services added 62,000 jobs and health care added 226,000 jobs over the past six months, up more than 60,000 from the previous six months.

Meanwhile the number of retail jobs added was half of the previous three months, reports USA Today.

Some aren’t as optimistic about the jobs picture. From The Economist:

Do not be fooled by the latest jobs report. The American labour market is far from full strength. As Steve Blitz of ITG Investment Research, a consultancy, points out, the steady improvement in the employment-to-population ratio for 25-to-34-year-olds has stalled in recent months (at around 77%). Although the number of people who want to work full-time but can only find part-time jobs (the so-called “part-time for economic reasons” or “PTER”) has fallen, it remains much higher than before the recession hit. The same goes for “discouraged” workers, those who want a job but say that there is no point in looking.

Even USA Today published a story on Friday saying the opposite of what this new cheerful, positive story says. “Without a vibrant consumer to buy their goods and services, U.S. companies are hesitant to invest in the future. As such, they don’t hire, and they don’t build,” writes Trish Regan, who goes on to say that the jobs created are low-paying ones.

Then, of course, we have an unemployment rate for Blacks that’s still nearly twice the national average. You can’t say the economy is on the positive path when a whole segment of the population isn’t working.

We have to be mindful that some of the good news is the result of policies that artificially prop up the economy. For instance, there has been an economic stimulus plan in place that includes rock-bottom interest rates, enacted during the recession to spur growth. For a while now, Fed Chief Janet Yellen has threatened to put an end to those policies as the economy improves. But that move is consistently postponed.

“Friday’s April jobs report that suggested the economy still has some ways to go to meet the Fed’s criteria for beginning to raise interest rates. And that means more easy money for investors,” writes Business Insider. Yellen sees “market dangers” ahead, even as the economy continues to stop and start due to everything from labor protests to the weather.

In other words, we have to be specific when we look at the US economy and our own personal financing. Make your personal decisions wisely, whether it’s spending, saving or investing. There could be more waves of change ahead.

Overall Unemployment Rate Down To 5.5%, But Rate Of Jobless Blacks Remains Unchanged

March 6th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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It’s lookin’ real good out there for job hunters. The economy is showing signs of rejuvenation with more than 250,000 jobs injected into the market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate, Business Insider reports, dipped from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent.

The total number of unemployed Americans dropped from 9 million to 8.7 million, and the jobless rate is the lowest it has been since May 2008.

For 12 consecutive months, the economy has been adding at least 200,000 jobs each month. And over the past three months, job gains averaged 288,000 per month. Not bad!

The job gains sprouted from food and drinking sectors, business and professional services, construction, transportation, warehousing and healthcare. Other major industries, such as wholesale trade, information, government, and financial activities, saw inconsequential change over the month of February.

Zooming in on African-Americans however, the jobless rate stubbornly remained at 10.4 percent, according to Consumer AffairsA recent New York Times article even noted that “simply being black makes it harder to find a job.” Progress in employment for Blacks, the NYT adds, can happen if hindering barriers are knocked down:

“It is possible stronger growth would have even larger benefits for black workers, by eroding the importance of the various structural obstacles that have historically made it harder for them to find jobs.”

The NYT also points out that Black workers’ resumes, on average, are less competitive because they’re more likely to have been incarcerated — this can be attributed to living in lower-income communities where it’s much easier to have a run-in with law enforcement.

“Living in these places may also make it harder for workers to obtain a good education.”

The unemployment rate for other major groups, white (five percent), Asians (four percent) and Hispanics (seven percent) remained stagnant as well — except for teenagers. Adolescents saw their jobless rate dip down by 1.7 percentage points to 17.1 percent in February.

The average hourly earnings for all workers on private payrolls rose by three pennies to $24.78.

January’s jobs report, for comparison, initially reported an addition of 257,000 jobs, but that figure has since been revised to 237,000.

The Job Market’s Lookin’ Good! America Has More Than 5 Million Job Openings

February 10th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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If you’re on the hunt for a new job, you’re in luck — the American economy is on your side. The U.S. job market is now showing signs of a healthy recovery as five million positions are now waiting to be filled, BloombergBusiness reports. That’s the highest level we’ve seen since 2001.

Last year, as 24/7 Wall Street reported, the U.S. economy was filled with “opportunities galore” as four million job openings swept the job market. “[This] threshold has not been seen since March of 2008,” it added. Well, it’s a whole new year and 2015 has taken a huge step of improvement from the year prior.

“The fact that you have so many new jobs coming on the market shortens the time that individuals have to spend in unemployment between jobs,” Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, said.

BloombergBusiness points to a blossoming sense of optimism among workers; more employees are seemingly more confident about quitting their jobs.”They were optimistic they could find another as the hiring pace picked up,” the article says.

Some 2.72 million employees quit their jobs in December — the highest in four months.

Crandall adds that one factor that “sticks out” from the current job report is that a “very large number of people found new jobs in the month.”

However, even these jobs won’t meet the demand, which, the AP says always exceeds job supply. More than that, there’s the persistent idea that there aren’t enough qualified candidates, which many people question. And then the job search process is frustrating.

“Complaints abound about online job sites that seem to function more as black holes than as gateways to employment. Applicants can’t get past online portals to explain gaps in their resumes. Multiple interviews and other steps – even for low-paying jobs – can prolong the process,” writes the Associated Press.

And we wouldn’t be telling the full story if we didn’t include the caveat that Black Americans are still struggling to pull out of a 10 percent jobless rate.

Still, in addition to driving up confidence, the budding economy has seen sales growth. “Continued strength in hiring will probably help spur a pickup in wage growth, which has been slow to materialize throughout the recovery,” BloombergBusiness adds.

A report from the Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS), commissioned by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, adds validity to the Labor Department’s latest jobs report. According to JOLTS,  job openings surged for retailers, business, professional, and construction companies. The manufacturing sector, however, saw a downtick.

The number of workers who were hired rose to 5.15 million in December; that’s the most America has seen since November 2007, from 5.05 million.

“The gain adds to evidence that shows the labor market is picking up steam, creating a virtuous cycle in the process as Americans spend newfound incomes on goods and services,” BloombergBusiness concluded from the JOLTS report.

But these positive items should help with that fight.

Black Unemployment Rate May Hit Single-Digits By Mid-2015

January 13th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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From a big picture perspective, last week’s jobs report, which boasted a 5.8 to 5.6 percent drop in unemployment — sounds pretty inspiring. It is, after all, the lowest unemployment rate since June 2008, before the Great Recession. But zooming in on the Black jobless rate, that figure is nearly twice the national average at 10.4 percent. Worry not, though — there is hope! Analysts foresee a single-digit jobless rate on the horizon.

According to BlackVoiceNews, Black Americans may see the unemployment rate dip down below 10 percent by mid-2015.

“If the same trends in the labor force participation rate and the decline in the unemployment rate that we saw in 2014 continue into 2015, the Black unemployment rate should get down to the single digits by the middle of this year,” said Wilson, director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE) at Economic Policy Institute.

Wilson analyzed the labor force participation rate, which includes those who are currently working or actively looking for a job, and the employment-population ratio. “She found that Blacks had the biggest increase in both measures from December 2013 to December 2014,” BlackVoiceNews wrote.

Though the Black unemployment rate still hovers at a disheartening double-digit percentage, it did decrease from 11 percent in November and 11.8 percent from the year prior. Focusing on the labor force performance of Black women over the age of 20, BlackVoiceNews notes a decrease from 9.5 percent in November to 8.2 percent in December. For comparison, White women saw their jobless rate slide from 4.5 percent to 4.4 during the same period.

As for Black men over the age of 20, the unemployment rate trickled down from 11.2 percent to 11 percent from November to December. White men saw their November 4.6 percent jobless rate drop to 4.4 percent in December.

During a Q&A Facebook session with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, one inquirer posed that very question about why there is such a stark difference between Black and White unemployment rates:

“Why is it that under the First African-American POTUS only African Americans have had double digit unemployment his entire term and why nothing is being done to address that crisis?” Heyward Johnson asked.

“The unemployment rate for African Americans has fallen 6.4 percentage points since its peak in March 2010. It is close to its pre-recession level but is still unconscionably high. The President’s investments in skills, highway infrastructure and minimum wage help all workers, including African Americans. In addition, the President has targeted specific investments through his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, Promise Zones, and Secure Cities, Secure Communities initiative to help address the persistent unemployment and opportunity gaps in minority communities,” Perez replied.

Wilson would assure Johnson that the labor force projections for African Americans looks optimistic: “The African American workforce is benefiting from the job growth that is taking place right now and the longer that continues, the better it’s going to be for those communities.”

“The country added 252,000 jobs last month, higher than the anticipated 240,000,” MadameNoire wrote. “An average of 246,000 jobs were added each month in 2014, the highest since 1999.”

More People Are Quitting Their Jobs, Which Is A Great Sign For Economy

November 14th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Despite lingering worries about the economy, more and more people are quitting their jobs. Seems incongruous no?

More than 2.7 million Americans, or two percent of all workers, quit their jobs in September, according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday. “That’s the highest ‘quit rate’ since April 2008, when the Great Recession was still a toddler,” reports The Huffington Post. The BLS report showed that there were 4.7 million job openings in September, near the 13-year high the economy reached in August.

Believe it or not this trend is great for the economy. There are only good reasons people quit their jobs– they have another job set up or feel confident enough in the market that there are other job options. Also, leaving one job for another can also lead to a raise in pay, so a higher quit rate could indicate that wages are no longer stagnant.

Some of the highest quit rates, however, were in low-wage industries like hotels, restaurants and retail, which tend to have high turnover rates. Experts say stagnant wages are a big reason for the economic worry many Americans still have. So perhaps these folks are leaving for higher-wage jobs, but they’re still not high enough to motivate people to stick with their employers for the long haul. We’ll keep an eye out for any further analysis.

Also, the number of people exiting their jobs voluntarily is a lot more than the 1.6 million who were fired of laid off. “The rate of workers being fired has remained steady for the last two years,” reports CNN Money.

Disappointing Report Shows Only 74,000 Jobs Were Added In December

January 10th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Job seekers waiting in line for 750 construction positions available in NYC in August. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Job seekers waiting in line for 750 construction positions available in NYC in August. Some waited for days. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Experts, who had expected the economy to create 200,000 during the month of December, were disappointed to learn this morning that only 74,000 jobs were added. This is the lowest number of job additions since January 2011. In both 2012 and 2013, the month saw 182,500 jobs added. And in November, the unemployment rate dropped to seven percent, giving the impression that things were on an upward swing that showed no signs of slowing. (The number of jobs added that month was actually revised higher from 203,000 to 241,000.)

Besides the retail area, which added 55,000 for holiday sales, other areas of usual growth like construction and health care showed decline. Governments on the federal, state, and local level shed 16,000 jobs. And the underemployment rate — people who are working part-time who would like full-time jobs as well as people who have given up the search — is at 13.1 percent.

On a positive note, the unemployment rate for African Americans has dropped to 11.9 percent from 12.4 percent in December. The unemployment rate for black men is 11.5 percent; for black women, 10.4 percent.

A few other points of interest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Average hourly earnings for nonfarm payroll employees inched up two cents to $24.17.

The average work week became a little shorter, down .1 hour to 34.4 hours. For manufacturing, it’s 41 hours.

The unemployment rate for adults over the age of 25 who have a bachelor’s degree or more is 3.3 percent. For adults with a high school diploma but no college, it’s 7.1 percent. For those with some college or an Associate’s degree, it’s 6.8 percent.

An average of 182,000 jobs were added in 2013. And 2.18 million jobs were added for the year.

The Fed had been planning to wind down some of its economic stimulus efforts this year, but the agency (now led by Janet Yellen) may reconsider that in light of this report.

Delayed Jobs Report Shows 148,000 Jobs Added Last Month, Lower Than Forecast

October 22nd, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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via Facebook page

via Facebook page

The good news is that the unemployment rate is down to 7.2 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the not-so-great news is that the job growth has slowed. For September, 148,000 jobs were added. However for the first half of the year, an average of 195,000 jobs were added. A total of 175,000 were forecast for this report. There are 11.3 million people who are officially unemployed, and eight million people who are working part-time, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Retail (typically low-paying jobs), transportation and warehousing, and temp work led the way in September, each adding 20,000 workers for the month. “The 16-day partial shutdown of government offices and facilities, which began Oct. 1, had no direct bearing on the September employment data, but surveys and anecdotal reports indicate that the uncertainty over the budget stalemate weighed on employers and possibly their hiring decisions last month,” the LA Times added.

Among African Americans, the unemployment rate inched down .1 percent to 12.9 percent. The number of people who are “marginally attached” to the workforce, those who looked for a job at some point in the last year, was down from 2.5 million to 2.3 million.

The latest jobs report was 2 1/2 weeks late because of the government shutdown.

According to an analysis published in The Washington Post, the unemployment rates are uneven across the nation’s cities. In Yuma, AZ, the rate in August was 32.6 percent, the highest. In Rocky Mountain, NC, it’s 12 percent. But in Bismarck, ND it was 2.4 percent (the lowest) and in Minneapolis, it was 4.7 percent. California had the highest number of cities with an unemployment rate above 10 percent. According to WaPo, it’s just one indicator of the uneven economic recovery that the US is experiencing.

The Federal Reserve will meet next week to determine whether it’s time to wind down stimulus programs that have been in place to jump start the economy and keep it on the path to growth. These numbers indicate that the Fed might be reluctant to do that.

Hooray! Dow Hits 14,000, The Highest Since October 2007

February 1st, 2013 - By CAP
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AP Photo/Richard Drew

AP Photo/Richard Drew

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 14,000, great news for the market since the Dow hasn’t been this high since October 2007. According to The Huffington Post, the key drivers for the increase were the reports on U.S. jobs and auto sales.

Although the jobs report showed unemployment reached  7.9 percent, an increase from 7.8 percent in prior months, investors chose to focus on the positive: employers added 157,000 jobs in January and hiring was stronger over the past two years than previously thought.

However, with all these jobs being added, things don’t appear to be as upbeat for African Americans just yet. The National Journal reported that the unemployment rate for African Americans remains the highest at over 13.8 percent, although that is a .2 percent drop from last month. The unemployment rate for Hispanics is currently 9.7 percent, while Asians and whites have unemployment rates of 6.5 and seven percent respectively.

Generally the Dow can be a signal of investor confidence and even with an increasing unemployment rate the 14,000 high that the Dow reached today arguably proves that investor confidence is back.

Obama: "Not Concerned About a Double-Dip Recession"

June 8th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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President Barack ObamaBy Alexis Garrett Stodghill

President Obama met with reporters yesterday to reassure us that we are not heading for what he termed a “double-dip” recession. The President sought to express his confidence that despite recent declines in jobs creation, the economic uptick his administration has established will continue to produce growth. This news comes after last week’s jobs report revealed that employers only added 54,000 positions to the employment market, churning up pessimism on both Wall Street and Main Street.

Trading was down in reaction to this sign; plus, according to CBS News, six in ten Americans still believe we’re gripped in a recession, despite reports that it is officially over. CBS has more on the President’s positive outlook:

President Obama said today he’s concerned about last month’s slow job growth, but he’s not concerned about the economy sinking into another technical recession.

“I’m not concerned about a double-dip recession,” Mr. Obama said at a joint press conference at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “I am concerned the recovery we’re on is not producing jobs as quickly as I’d like.”

Last week’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May. Employers hired only 54,000 new workers last month, the fewest in eight months.

“We don’t yet know whether this is a one-month episode or a longer” problem, the president said. Consumers are currently experiencing “headwinds” like high gas prices, he said, to which his administration has responded with steps to try and stabilize the international oil market.

Mr. Obama pointed out today that prior to this latest disappointing report, the U.S. economy experienced three months of robust growth. He pointed to additional signs of economic recovery, such as the rebound of the domestic manufacturing sector.

But, he said, “We’ve still got some enormous work to do.”

This work will include investing in education and energy, with a strong focus on fiscal policy including reducing the deficit.

What President Obama did not address is the growing crisis in the African-American community, which looms like a shadow outside his sunny focus on growth. While unemployment rose to 9.1% overall, African-American males experienced a staggering increase to 18.6% for the month of May, according to a UC Berkley report. The unemployment rate for blacks at large is now 16.2%, almost twice the national level. Blacks, in particular black men, are suffering through what many economists would call a depression, yet the first black president has yet to consider this issue worthy of consistent commentary.

As President Obama continues to sell us on the end of the recession, will he face the Great African-American Depression that millions grapple with? To be fair, President Obama has stressed his belief that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Even at the current alarming rates, black unemployment is actually down. The key issue is that it continues to rise despite this for black men.

The president is avoiding a crisis that must be addressed. African-Americans are waiting. If and when Obama responds, we will remember how our cries for intervention met his walls of silence — for too long.


Job Creation in Private Sector Remained Weak in June

July 2nd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(New York Times) — The United States added just 83,000 private-sector jobs in June, a dishearteningly low number that could add to the growing number of economists who warn that the economic recovery has slowed to the point that it cannot generate enough job growth. Over all, the nation lost 125,000 jobs, according to the monthly snapshot of the job market released by the Labor Department on Friday. Most of the lost jobs came as temporary workers hired by the federal government for the 2010 Census exited their jobs. The unemployment rate, based on a different survey, declined to 9.5 percent in June from the previous 9.7 percent. This decline came only because the nation’s labor force shrank by 652,000 jobs.

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