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BLS Releases July 2018 Employment Situation (Aug 2018)


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy added 157,000 jobs in July.  With upward revisions to the data from the prior two months, the average gain over the last three months was 224,000.  The leading sector for job gains in July was professional and business services, which increased by 51,000 in July and have added 518,000 over the year.  The other leading sector is manufacturing, which added 37,000 jobs—all but 5,000 of which were in durable goods manufacturing.  Employment in manufacturing is up by 327,000 over the last year, an increase of 2.6 percent.  Other sectors adding employment in July are health care and social assistance (+34,000); food services and drinking places (+26,000); construction  (+19,000); and retail trade (+7,000).  Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major sectors, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial services, and government. 


The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent as most of the rise in unemployment in June—which was due to increased labor force participation—was reversed.  The labor force participation rate—at 62.9 percent in July, was unchanged over the month.  The employment-population (EPOP) ratio rose to 60.5 percent, a new high for the recovery. 


The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million in July.  Both measures were down over the year, by 0.4 percentage points and 676,000 respectively.  Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) declined in July.  The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no change over the month. 


Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force decreased by 287,000 in July to 1.8 million, following an increase in June.  (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.)  Long-term unemployed—those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in July and accounted for 22.7 percent of the unemployed. 


The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (called involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in July, at 4.6 million; down by 669,000 over the year.  These persons, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full time jobs. 


In spite of the healthy pace of job growth and the low unemployment rate, there continues to be little evidence of accelerating wage growth.  Over the last year, the average hourly wage has risen by 2.7 percent.  There is a small uptick to 2.87 percent if wage growth over the last three months (May, June and July) are annualized compared with the prior three months (February, March and April). 

The full BLS press release on the July 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:


The next employment situation report for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 7, 2018. 


BEA Releases Advanced Estimate of Second Quarter GDP (July 2018)


The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its advanced estimate of Second Quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”), showing an annualized growth rate of 4.1% during the April 2018 through June 2018 time period.  The release also revised First Quarter 2018 GDP upwards from the previous estimate of 2.0%, to 2.2% annualized growth during the January 2018 through March 2018 period.

GDP growth during the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and residential fixed investment.  Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The full BEA press release on the advanced estimate of Second Quarter GDP can be accessed in the link below:



The next release - for the second estimate of Second Quarter GDP 2018 – will be published on August 29, 2018.


BLS Releases June 2018 Consumer Price Index (July 2018)


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in June of 2018 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  An increase in the indexes for gasoline, food, and shelter were the main contributor to the monthly increase.

Excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, the index for all items less food and energy rose by 0.1 percent in June.  The indexes for medical care, used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and recreation all increased in June.

The all items index has risen 2.9 percent over the last 12 months ending in June, the largest 12-month increase since February of 2012.  

The full press release can be found via the link below.

Next release is Friday, August 10, 2018, for the July 2018 Consumer Price Index.


BLS Releases June 2018 Employment Situation (July 2018)


Employers added 213,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent.

Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care, while retail lost jobs. The number of jobs in professional and business services increased by 50,000, manufacturing jobs increased by 36,000 over the month, while health care gained 25,000 jobs.  Retail lost 22,000 jobs.

Job growth in May 2018 was revised to 244,000, up from the initially estimated 223,000.  Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 211,000 additions a month. 

Average hourly earnings rose by five cents to $26.98. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.7 percent.  

The full BLS press release on the June 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:

The next employment situation report for July 2018 will be released on Friday, August 3, 2018. 


BEA Releases Third Estimate of First Quarter GDP and Corporate Profits First Quarter (June 2018)


The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “third” estimate of first quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product.  The third estimate is based on data that is more complete compared to the “advance” and “second” estimates. The third estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent during the first quarter of 2018. 

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending.  The increase was partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment and private inventory investment. Imports, which is subtracted in the GDP calculation, increased. 

Corporate profits increased $7.0 billion in the first quarter, compared to a decrease of $14.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

The full BEA press release on the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP can be accessed in the link below:

The next release—for the advance estimate of second quarter GDP 2018 will be released on July 27, 2018. 


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