Vermont Business Roundtable/EPR Third Quarter Business Conditions Survey Released (August 2017)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report on the July 2017 Employment Situation this morning. The report is compiled based on the findings of two surveys: the Household Survey, looking at the unemployment rate of major worker groups and the labor participation rate, and the Establishment Survey, reporting on nonfarm payroll employment by major sectors, duration of the average workweek, and average hourly earnings.
Data from the Household Survey shows that unemployment was little changed in July at 4.3%, down 0.1 percentage points from June. After declining in the beginning of the year, unemployment has changed little in the past few months. Among the major worker groups, unemployment was generally unchanged. The unemployment rate for both adult men and women was 4.0%, while teenagers saw an unemployment rate of 13.2%.
The Establishment Survey shows that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 209,000 in July, bringing the average monthly employment growth rate for 2017 to 184,000. In comparison, this rate was 187,000 in 2016. The average workweek length for private nonfarm payroll employment remained unchanged while average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents to $26.36, with average weekly earnings of $909.42, up from $884.42 a year ago.
The full release—with data tables and more information—is available below as a PDF:
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released its advance estimate of second quarter of 2017 GDP and its annual update of the national income and product accounts. This advance estimate is based on data that may be incomplete or revised in the future. The second estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 30.
Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the second quarter of 2017, up from a (revised) rate of 1.2% seen in the first quarter of 2017. This increase reflected higher personal consumption expenditures, government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, and exports. While exports are still increasing in the second quarter at a rate of 4.1%, they have slowed down from the first quarter, where they experienced an increase of 7.1%.
Every summer, BEA updates previous GDP estimates, using updated data and methodology. GDP estimates for the past three quarters (the third and fourth quarters of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017) have been reduced from previous figures, signaling that economic growth was not as rapid as previously calculated. Nevertheless, a shrinkage of GDP has not been seen since Q1 2014, and this was an isolated case, indicating that the economy is healthy.
The full report including tables, charts, and data is available below:
On July 21, EPR President Jeff Carr presented the updated consensus economic and revenue forecast for the State of Vermont for fiscal years 2018-19. The forecast is available below as a PDF.
On Friday, July 14, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its June 2017 report on the Consumer Price Index.
When seasonally-adjusted, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in June. Over the past 12 months, the all-items index rose 1.6%.
The energy index fell by 1.6% in June, less than the 2.7% fall seen in May. The gasoline index over the past 12 months fell by 0.4%, with gas prices falling 1.7% in June, before seasonal adjustment.
The food index, which rose in the past five months, was unchanged in June. The index for food at home fell 0.1%, consistent with the trend over the past twelve months. Most noticeable is the increase in the beef index, which rose 2.9%. The index for food away from home rose 2.2% over the past year, and was unchanged in June.
The index of all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in June, consistent with the trend in April and May. Over the past twelve months, the index rose 1.7%, with noticeable increases in the shelter and medical care indexes, rising 3.3% and 2.7%, respectively.
The next release is scheduled for Friday, August 11.
The full release is available at the link below: