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BLS Releases January 2020 Employment Situation (Feb. 2020)


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 225,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 175,000 in 2019. In January, construction employment rose by 44,000. Most of the gain occurred in specialty trade contractors, with increases in both the residential (+18,000) and nonresidential (+17,000) components. Construction added an average of 12,000 jobs per month in 2019.  Health care added 36,000 jobs in January, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+23,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 361,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 28,000 in January. Job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+14,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 106,000.  Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in January (+36,000). Over the past 6 months, the industry has added 288,000 jobs.  Employment continued on an upward trend in professional and business services in January (+21,000), increasing by 390,000 over the past 12 months. Manufacturing employment changed little in January (-12,000) and has shown little movement, on net, over the past 12 months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs over the month. Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were $23.87 in January, little changed over the month (+3 cents).

The full BLS press release on the January 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:

The next employment situation report for February 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 6, 2020. 



Vermont Consensus Forecast Update (Jan. 2020)


On January 15, 2020, Jeffrey Carr of EPR (along with Tom Kavet of Kavet, Rockler & Associates) presented the updated consensus revenue forecast for the State of Vermont before the Vermont Emergency Board.

Click below to download a copy of the Forecast Update Report.


Gross Domestic Product, 4th Quarter and Year 2019 Advance Estimate (Jan 2020)


Real gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, state and local government spending, residential fixed investment, and exports, that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.  

Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the same as that in the third. In the fourth quarter, a downturn in imports, an acceleration in government spending, and a smaller decrease in nonresidential investment were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.

Real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2019 (from the 2018 annual level to the 2019 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.9 percent in 2018 (table 1).  The increase in real GDP in 2019 reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment. Imports increased.  The deceleration in real GDP in 2019, compared to 2018, primarily reflected decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and PCE and a downturn in exports, which were partly offset by accelerations in both state and local and federal government spending. Imports increased less in 2019 than in 2018.


Secretary of Administration Susanne Young Releases Vermont's Revenue Results for December 2019 (Jan. 2020)


On January 24, 2020, Secretary of Administration released December 2019 revenue results for the month of December and the first half of fiscal year 2020 for the State of Vermont.  As expected, receipts in the General Fund bounced back somewhat from the previous month’s end of the month calendar issue with the Thanksgiving holiday.  Secretary Young stated: “General Fund receipts were $5.11 million, or 3.85%, above the consensus cash flow target for the month. The Education Fund was also above expectations, while the Transportation Fund revenues were below forecast.”

The Secretary further elaborated, “…While we are generally pleased with the overall performance of revenues relative to forecast, despite the revenue upgrade, the Governor’s proposed FY21 budget required difficult decisions with reductions in appropriations to agencies, departments, programs and services…The Administration will continue to focus on meeting the State’s demographics challenge to draw more people to Vermont and into our workforce. We need to continue to make investments that grow our economy and our tax base,” Secretary  Young concluded.


BLS Releases December 2019 Consumer Price Index (Jan. 2020)


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The indexes for gasoline, shelter, and medical care all rose in December, accounting for most of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The gasoline index increased 2.8 percent in December. Other major energy component indexes were mixed, and the energy index rose 1.4 percent. The food index rose 0.2 percent in December with the indexes for both food at home and food away from home increasing over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in December after increasing 0.2 percent in November. Along with the indexes for shelter and medical care, the indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and new vehicles all increased in December. The indexes for used cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, and airline fares were among those to decline.

The all items index increased 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending December, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2018. The index for all items less food and energy also rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as the periods ending October and November. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 3.4 percent. The full press release can be found via the link below.

Next release is Thursday, February 13, 2020, for the January 2019 Consumer Price Index.



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