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BLS Releases August 2016 Employment Situation (Sept. 2016)


The U.S. economy continued to create jobs at a steady pace in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Employers added 151,000 jobs in August.  Job growth in July and June were revised in both directions—employers added 275,000 jobs in July, up from initially estimated 255,000; but added fewer jobs in June as originally estimated, 271,000, down from 292,000.  Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 232,000 additions a month.

Average hourly earnings rose 2.4 percent through August, slightly slower than July’s increase of 2.6 percent.  Throughout 2015, annual wage growth averaged 2.3 percent.

The jobless rate of 4.9 percent remained unchanged in August.  Hiring was robust enough to absorb new entrants into the labor market, keeping the overall unemployment level stable. 

The full BLS press release on August 2016 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:

The next employment situation for September 2016 will be released on Friday, October 7, 2016. 



BEA Releases Advance Estimate of Second Quarter GDP (Aug. 2016)


The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “advance” estimate of second quarter 2016 Gross Domestic Product.  The advance estimate is based on data that may be incomplete or subject to revision.  The second estimate, released in August, will be based on more complete data.

The advance estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.2% during the second quarter of 2016.  This is a slight acceleration from the first quarter of 2016, where GDP increased at a rate of 0.8 percent.

The acceleration reflects an increase in personal consumption expenditures and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending.  Imports, which is subtracted for the GDP calculation, decreased.  

The full report is accessible via the link below:



BLS Releases July 2016 Consumer Price Index (Aug. 2016)


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 0.8% before seasonal adjustment.

The energy index saw a decline of 1.6% due primarily to a sharp decrease in gasoline; while the food indexes were mixed but overall unchanged.  The index for all items less energy and food increased by 0.1 percent in July, after rising 0.2 percent in June. 

The full report is available as a PDF below:



BLS Releases July 2016 Employment Situation (Aug. 2016)


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased 255,000.  The unemployment rate for July remained unchanged at 4.9 percent.

Job gains occurred in the professional and business services, health care, and financial activities; while mining continued to shed employment, down by 26% since its peak in 2014. 

The full release is available as a PDF below

The employment situation for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 2, 2016.


July 2016 VBR/EPR Survey Results Release (July 2016)


The VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey for the second quarter of 2016/third quarter of 2016 has been released.  Most responses to the question about the state’s overall business climate outlook were neutral (58%).  The remaining responses were split between optimistic (22%) and pessimistic (20%).  More than 60 percent of respondents (61%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions.  The accommodations sector had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate, while the utilities sector had the least optimistic outlook.  For this reporting period, the diffusion index shows a decline in optimism from Q2 2016 to Q3 2016, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel neutral about the business climate for the coming three months.

The Business Conditions Survey is conducted in partnership between the Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources.  The nine question survey of the 96 members of the Vermont Business Roundtable captures a glimpse of how Vermont business leaders see the state economy.  The survey asks business leaders how their businesses have fared in the recent past and how they view the future.  Sentiments regarding the current and expected business climate and the expected impact on hiring and investing decisions are also surveyed.   Included in the standard survey is a question asking roundtable members for opinions on a current debate in public policy.   Along with providing a snapshot of the Vermont business climate, the survey allows Vermonters to see how these markers change over time.

The survey results are attached in the pdf below.  


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