Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October

looking for a job

The October jobs report was surprisingly strong in light of the government shutdown inflicted on the American economy.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing, and health care.

The key issue with these numbers remains the size of the workforce. It remains to be seen how accurately these government surveys are in light of new trends where people work at home. Look at these numbers:

While the economy has been miserable for small business, and many larger ones as well, the ranks of the self-employed have been growing. According to research by Economic Modeling Specialists International, the number of people who primarily work on their own has swelled by 1.3 million since 2001 to 10.6 million, a 14% increase.

How does this factor into the unemployment trends? Nobody seems to be talking about this when the jobs numbers come out.

Jobless rate falls

Stocks jumped on this news as the report was expected to be bad. Again, the Labor Deportment made significant upward revisions to reports from previous months.

Overall the unemployment rate is at a 4-year low of 7.5%. Of course there’s a long way to go but at least we’re making some steady progress.

More construction jobs added

Warren Buffett famously declared that the slumping US economy would have trouble rebounding until housing stabilized and we started seeing new construction jobs. Well, there’s been plenty of good news on the housing front, and now we’re seeing good news on construction jobs in the latest jobs report.

After five years of hemorrhaging jobs, the construction industry has become one of the bright spots of the labor market — a hopeful sign that one of the most damaged sectors of the economy may finally be starting to heal.

Overall, the government’s monthly jobs report, released Friday, showed continued modest growth in December. The economy added 155,000 jobs, on par with the monthly average for both 2012 and 2011. The unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent.

But a closer look reveals that nearly one-fifth of the jobs created were in construction, marking only the third time since the recession ended in June 2009 that the industry has added 30,000 workers or more. The surge capped one of the largest three-month gains the sector has seen since the recession began in December 2007.

The return of construction jobs is an especially critical component of the economic recovery. That’s partly because of the sheer number of jobs lost — more than 2 million since 2007 — but also because of fears that many of those workers’ skills may not translate to other industries, rendering them permanently unemployable.

This should help to turbocharge the overall job market. If you’ve given up looking for work, not is the time to get back at it.

Solid job growth continues

The economy continues its slow and steady recovery. Job growth was solid but not spectacular again last month, which has some political implications as well.

The last remaining political land mine embedded in Barack Obama’s path to reelection has failed to detonate.

With time fast running out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the last monthly jobs report we’ll see in this election. The news was unexpectedly decent: 171,000 nonfarm jobs added in October, and unemployment essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent.

What’s more, the August numbers were revised upwards from 142,000 to 192,000, and the September numbers were boosted from 114,000 to 148,000. This suggests the possibility that something was stirring in the economy that we hadn’t picked up, and could help explain why Obama’s small but seemingly durable edge in the electoral college has persisted.

These are solid numbers for President Obama‘s campaign in a super close election as the unemployment rate stayed below 8%. The Mitt Romney campaign will point it that the rate ticked up a tenth of a point.

More disappointing job numbers

The unemployment rate ticked back up to 8.2% as the economy added far fewer jobs than expected in May. The crisis is Europe certainly isn’t helping as companies are becoming cautious again.

Don’t let this discourage you in your job search, as the numbers are still positive. At least we aren’t losing hundreds of thousands of jobs like we did at the end of 2008 and into 2009.

Jobless claims plunge

The news on jobs keeps improving.

Weekly jobless claims moved sharply lower, while inflation remained tame and housing starts unexpectedly weakened in December, according to a set of data painting a mixed picture of the economic recovery.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped to 352,000, the fewest in nearly four years.

The buzz out there is that manufacturing is a big part of the rebound.

It will be interesting to see how the improving job situation will affect the 2012 presidential election.

Unemployment drops to 8.5%

Slowly but surely, we’re starting to see a rebound in the US economy. Manufacturing is picking up, consumers are spending more and companies are starting to hire. The unemployment rate has now dropped to 8.5% after the economy added 200,000 jobs in December.

The jobs report builds on a several new indicators pointing toward an economy on the upswing.

The government reported Thursday that claims for unemployment benefits declined in the final week of December, moving the average over the past four weeks to its lowest level in more than three years.

The Institute for Supply Management reported this week that its employment index for December was 55.1, the highest reading since June. A reading above 50 means that more companies are creating jobs than cutting them.

The nation’s factories have added more than 300,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010 — about 13 percent of what was lost during the recession — marking the first sustained increase in manufacturing employment since 1997, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Auto sales in December were up, continuing their substantial improvement from the summer. And for all of 2011, vehicle sales rose 10 percent.

The auto numbers are critical. For example, Chrysler sales keep increasing and the company is adding jobs.

The economy has added jobs for 15 consecutive months so there is reason for continued optimism.

If you’ve been out of work and have given up, go back and start looking again.

Unemployment falls in the states

The good economic news continues.

Unemployment rates fell in 43 states in November, the most states to report such declines in eight years.

The falling state rates reflect the brightening jobs picture nationally. The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in November to 8.6%, lowest since March 2009. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row — first time that’s happened since 2006, before the Great Recession.

Only three states reported higher unemployment rates in November, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Four showed no change.

Other good news today came in the form of housing starts. People aren’t buying home so many people are renting. Now the construction market is responding as more apartment buildings are going to be built. This might be good news for construction workers around the country.

Jobless claims continue downward trend

Are we finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel?

Last month the unemployment rate dipped to 8.6%, and now we continue to see better numbers as it relates to weekly jobless claims.

The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in three-and-a-half years last week, the latest indication that a weak labor market is improving.

Initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 in the week ended Dec. 10, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast claims would climb by 9,000 to 390,000.

“This is unexpectedly great news,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “If claims can remain at this level, payroll growth will strengthen markedly within a month or so.”

For the week ended Dec. 3, claims were revised up slightly to 385,000 from an originally reported 381,000. Still, new claims have fallen by 19,000 two weeks in a row.

The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, closely watched by economists because it smooths out volatile weekly data, dropped last week by 6,500 to 387,750. That is the lowest level since July 2008.

The four-week average has remained below 400,000 for five consecutive weeks, one sign the economy is adding more jobs than it is shedding.

If you’ve been looking for a job but have become discouraged, now is the time to get back out there and redouble your efforts. The economy has some momentum, and economic optimism is returning. Right now Europe seems like the most important headwind for economic growth, but conditions here at home are getting better. Car sales are improving and that is one of the factors driving economic activity.

Would You Relocate to Find a Job?

JOB AHEAD SIGN

Before you decide to relocate to another state because you read somewhere that it’s the “best state to find a job,” it’s best to do your homework. This means, find out what types of jobs are actually available and why. You might be surprised by what you discover.

The Huffington Post published an article today titled “The Top 11 States To find a Job,” but it turns out that many of the jobs are low-paying and mostly available in three main industries: agriculture, natural resource extraction, and federal government work.

Gallup has published its latest Job Creation Index, providing a state-by-state comparison of which states predominately hired, fired, and stood pat in 2010. As the U.S. job market struggled, the highest-ranking states relied on one of three industries: agriculture, natural resource extraction, or federal government work.

But not all jobs — or state economies — are created equal, and many of the states on Gallup’s list often create low-paying jobs. Arkansas, for example, ranks fifth best on Gallup’s Job Creation Index, but its median household income is a $39,392, good for second-worst in the country. Maryland, on the other hand, might rank lower on the index, but it has the third-highest median household income in the country.

Gallup based its rankings on nearly 200,000 interviews conducted only with employed adults. Interviewees said whether their company was hiring, not changing in size or laying off workers. The Job Creation Index number represents that difference between “the percentage reporting an expansion and the percentage reporting a reduction in their workforces.”

If you’re still interested in finding out what the states on the Gallup list have to offer, the 11 states below made the cut:

11. Pennsylvania
2010 Job Creation Index: 13
Percent Hiring: 31.2
Percent Letting Go: 18.8
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $39,578 (19/51)
Median Household Income: $49,829 (26/51)

10. Iowa
2010 Job Creation Index: 13
Percent Hiring: 29.9
Percent Letting Go: 17.1
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $36,751 (28/51)
Median Household Income: $50,422 (23/51)

9. Oklahoma
2010 Job Creation Index: 14
Percent Hiring: 31.7
Percent Letting Go: 18.0
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $35,268 (34/51)
Median Household Income: $45,507 (40/51)

8. Texas
2010 Job Creation Index: 14
Percent Hiring: 32.1
Percent Letting Go: 18.1
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $36,484 (29/51)
Median Household Income: $47,143 (35/51)

7. Maryland
2010 Job Creation Index: 15
Percent Hiring: 34.3
Percent Letting Go: 19.1
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $48,285 (5/51)
Median Household Income: $65,183 (3/51)

6. West Virginia
2010 Job Creation Index: 15
Percent Hiring: 32.5
Percent Letting Go: 17.1
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $32,219 (45/51)
Median Household Income: $40,627 (49/51)

5. Arkansas
2010 Job Creation Index: 17
Percent Hiring: 32.5
Percent Letting Go: 16.0
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $31,946 (46/51)
Median Household Income: $39,392 (50/51)

4. Alaska
2010 Job Creation Index: 19
Percent Hiring: 35.1
Percent Letting Go: 15.8
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $42,603 (10/51)
Median Household Income: $63,505 (5/51)

3. South Dakota
2010 Job Creation Index: 21
Percent Hiring: 29.9
Percent Letting Go: 8.9
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $36,935 (26/51)
Median Household Income: $48,416 (29/51)

2. Washington D.C.
2010 Job Creation Index: 21
Percent Hiring: 29.9
Percent Letting Go: 8.9
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $36,935 (26/51)
Median Household Income: $48,416 (29/51)

1. South Dakota
2010 Job Creation Index: 29
Percent Hiring: 37.6
Percent Letting Go: 8.2
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (Dec. 2010)
GDP Per Capita: $39,530 (20/51)
Median Household Income: $49,450 (27/51)

Related Posts