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BLS Releases December 2019 Employment Data (Jan. 2020)


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 145,000 in December. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs. In 2019, payroll employment rose by 2.1 million, down from a gain of 2.7 million in 2018. (See table B-1.) In December, retail trade added 41,000 jobs. Employment increased in clothing and accessories stores (+33,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+7,000); both industries showed employment declines in the prior month. Employment in retail trade changed little, on net, in both 2019 and 2018 (+9,000 and +14,000, respectively). Employment in health care increased by 28,000 in December. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added jobs over the month (+23,000 and +9,000, respectively). Health care added 399,000 jobs in 2019, compared with an increase of 350,000 in 2018.

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December (+40,000). The industry added 388,000 jobs in 2019, similar to the increase in 2018 (+359,000). Mining employment declined by 8,000 in December. In 2019, employment in mining declined by 24,000, after rising by 63,000 in 2018. Construction employment changed little in December (+20,000). Employment in the industry rose by 151,000 in 2019, about half of the 2018 gain of 307,000.

In December, employment in professional and business services showed little change (+10,000). The industry added 397,000 jobs in 2019, down from an increase of 561,000 jobs in 2018. Employment in transportation and warehousing changed little in December (-10,000). Employment in the industry increased by 57,000 in 2019, about one-fourth of the 2018 gain of 216,000. Manufacturing employment was little changed in December (-12,000). Employment in the industry changed little in 2019 (+46,000), after increasing in 2018 (+264,000). In December, employment showed little change in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government.

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $28.32. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $23.79, were little changed (+2 cents).

The full BLS press release on the December 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the pdf below:

The next employment situation report for January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 7, 2020. 



Secretary of Administration Susanne Young Releases Vermont's Revenue Results for November 2019 (Dec. 2019)


On December 20, 2019, Secretary of Administration Susanne Young released revenue results for the State of Vermont for the month of November and the first five months of the State’s 2020 fiscal year.  Although receipts during the month of November under-performed versus expectations for the month, cumulative through November revenue receipts overall for the three major funds continue to track at or above consensus expectations. 

According to Secretary Young, monthly results in the General Fund ”...were affected by the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday break on the last business days of November and receipts from those two days will be reflected in December receipts. Year to date, General Fund revenues exceed their target by $10.29 million, or 1.73%...”

Receipts in the Transportation Fund and in the Education Fund performed well during the month of November.  Cumulative receipts in both funds were either “on-target” (in the Transportation Fund) or ahead of target (in the Education Fund).

Click the pdf below to read a copy of the Secretary’s press release.


BEA Releases Third Estimate of Third Quarter (Dec.2019)


Real gross domestic product(GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0percent.  In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 2.1 percent. With the third estimate for the third quarter, upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment were offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.

The acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter reflected a smaller decrease in private inventory investment and upturns in exports and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by decelerations in PCE, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, and a larger decrease in nonresidential fixed investment.  The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, federal government spending, residential investment, exports, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

A copy of the release is found in the pdf below


Department of Homeland Security Regulations Lawsuit Con't (Dec. 2019)


Attached is a copy of EPR's Office of Managment and Budget (OMG) presentation on the EB-5 Program's national economic contribution study.  


Department of Homeland Security Regulations Lawsuit (Dec. 2019)


On November 26, 2019, a complaint for Injunctive Relief and a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) was filed by Florida EB-5 Investments, LLC against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging a November 21, 2019, DHS-issued final rule amending its regulations for the EB-5 program (Case 1:19-cv-03573 FLORIDA EB5 INVESTMENTS, LLC v. WOLF et al).  As EB-5 stakeholders know, the new DHS Rule proposed significant increases in minimum investment levels, and a new targeted employment area (TEA) designation process that eliminates the input of the individual states in designating such areas in which investments are made.  The complaint alleges the new DHS rules: (1) were developed in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), (2) exceed DHS’s authority, and (3) violated the Tenth Amendment, among others. The complaint further alleges that the Rule’s changes impact the U.S. economy and were proposed without adequate studies or analysis of the new DHS rules’ expected impacts.  EPR’s EB-5 Program economic contribution study—completed in cooperation with IIUSA and the EB-5 Investment Coalition—was used in support of the case filing.

The following pdf is a copy of EPR's study



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