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BLS Releases June 2017 Employment Situation Report (July 2017)


On Friday, July 7, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its June 2017 report on the employment situation, indicating that the economy is healthy. The report is compiled based on the findings of two surveys: the Household Survey and the Establishment Survey. The Household Survey looks at the unemployment rate of major worker groups and the labor participation rate while the Establishment Survey reports on nonfarm payroll employment by major sectors, duration of the average workweek, and average hourly earnings.

The unemployment rate was at 4.4%, only 0.1 percentage points up from May, and a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from January. The number of unemployed persons was at 7.0 million. The labor force participation rate—at 62.8% in June—changed little and has not shown a clear trend in the past year.

Nonfarm payroll employment saw an increase of 222,000, with employment growth in the past year averaging 180,000 per month.

The average workweek for all private nonfarm payroll employees was at 34.5 hours, up 0.1 hours from May. Average hourly earnings for the same demographic rose by 4¢ to $26.25, a continuation of the trend that saw wages rise by 63¢ in the past year. Despite the tightening labor market, there is no sign that wage growth will accelerate.

The next release, covering the July 2017 employment situation, is scheduled for Friday, August 4 2017.

The full release is available below:


Regional Housing Market Analysis and 10-Year Forecast of Housing Supply and Demand (June 2017)


Economic & Policy Resources Inc. and Crane Associates Inc. prepared and submitted to Barnstable County, MA and the Cape Cod Commission a Regional Housing Market Analysis and 10-Year Forecast of Housing Supply and Demand.  You may view the analysis and forecast by clicking the pdf below.


BEA Releases Final Estimate of Q1 2017 GDP and Corporate Profits (June 2017)


The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third estimate of first quarter 2017 GDP along with its revised estimate of corporate profits on June 29, 2017.

Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in Q1 2017, down from a 2.1 percent increase seen in Q4 2016. This decrease is the result of reduced government spending, increased imports, and a reduction in private investment, among other factors.

Corporate profits decreased by $48.4 billion, down from a Q4 2016 increase of $11.2 billion.

The next release—the advance estimate of Q2 2017 GDP—is scheduled to be released on July 28.

The full text of this release is available in the PDF below:


Philadelphia Fed Releases June 2017 Livingston Survey (June 2017)


Forecasters participating in the June 2017 Livingston Survey have predicted that GDP will rise at an annual rate of 2.1% in the first half of 2017 and 2.5% in the second half, a change from 2.2% and 2.4% (respectively) as previously predicted in the December Survey.

The unemployment rate is expected to fall, reaching 4.4% in June, 4.3% in December, and continuing the trend to 4.2% in June 2018.

CPI inflation is expected to be 2.4% in 2017, decreasing to 2.3% in 2018.

The Livingston Survey, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, is the oldest continuous survey of economists’ expectations. EPR’s Bob Chase is a long-time participant.

The next Survey is scheduled to be released in December.

The full report is available at the link below:


BLS Releases May 2017 Consumer Price Index (June 2017)


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  A decrease in the energy index was the main contributor to the monthly decrease, as the energy index fell 2.7 percent, led by a 6.4 percent decrease in the gasoline index.    

Excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, the index for all items less food and energy rose by 0.1 percent in May, as it did in April.  However, many indexes declined in May including those for apparel, airline fares, communication, and medical care services.

The all items index has risen 1.9 percent over the last 12 months ending in May, a smaller rise than the 2.2 percent average rise for the 12 months ending in April.  However, it is still a larger rise than the 1.6 percent average annual increase over the past 10 years.  

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

Next release is Friday, July 14, 2017 for the June 2017 Consumer Price Index.


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