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BLS Releases March 2020 Consumer Price Index (Apr. 2020)

04.10.2020

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.4 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest monthly decline since January 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

A sharp decline in the gasoline index was a major cause of the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index, with decreases in the indexes for airline fares, lodging away from home, and apparel also contributing. The energy index fell 5.8 percent as the gasoline index decreased 10.5 percent. The food index rose in March, increasing 0.3 percent as the food at home index rose 0.5 percent.

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1 percent in March, its first monthly decline since January 2010. Along with the indexes for airline fares, lodging away from home, and apparel, the index for new vehicles declined in March. The index for shelter was unchanged, with increases in the indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent offsetting the aforementioned decline in the index for lodging away from home. Indexes that increased in March include medical care, used cars and trucks, motor vehicle insurance, and education.

The all items index increased 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending March, a notably smaller increase than the 2.3-percent increase for the period ending February. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months. The food index rose 1.9 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index declined 5.7 percent.

Next release is Tuesday, May 12, 2020, for the April 2020 Consumer Price Index.


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BLS Releases March 2020 Employment Situation (April 2020)

04.06.2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it. Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 57,000 in February. Health care added 32,000 jobs, with gains in offices of physicians (+10,000), home health care services (+10,000), and hospitals (+8,000). Employment in social assistance increased by 25,000, with a majority of the gain in individual and family services (+18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 368,000 in health care and by 191,000 in social assistance.   Food services and drinking places added 53,000 jobs in February. Employment in the industry has increased by 252,000 over the past 7 months, following a lull in job growth earlier in 2019.

In March, employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000. Most of the decline occurred in food services and drinking places (-417,000); this employment decline nearly offset gains over the previous 2 years. Employment in the accommodation industry also declined in March (-29,000). Employment in health care and social assistance fell by 61,000 in March. Health care employment declined by 43,000, with job losses in offices of dentists (-17,000), offices of physicians (-12,000), and offices of other health care practitioners (-7,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care employment had grown by 374,000. In March, social assistance saw an employment decline of 19,000, reflecting a job loss in child day care services (-19,000). Over the prior 12 months, social assistance added 193,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services decreased by 52,000 in March, with the decline concentrated in temporary help services (-50,000). Employment also decreased in travel arrangement and reservation services (-7,000). In March, employment in retail trade declined by 46,000. Job losses occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-16,000); furniture stores (-10,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000). General merchandise stores gained 10,000 jobs. Employment decreased over the month in construction (-29,000). In March, nonresidential building (-11,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-10,000) lost jobs. Construction employment had increased by 211,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment in the other services industry declined by 24,000 in March, with about half of the loss occurring in personal and laundry services (-13,000). Over the prior 12 months, other services had added 89,000 jobs. Mining lost 6,000 jobs in March, with much of the decline occurring in support activities for mining (-5,000). Since a recent peak in January 2019, mining employment has declined by 42,000.

In March, manufacturing employment edged down (-18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment in the industry has shown little net change. Federal government employment rose by 18,000 in March, reflecting the hiring of 17,000 workers for the 2020 Census. Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities, changed little over the month.

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $28.62. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 10 cents to $24.07 in March.

The full BLS press release on the March 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the .pdf below.

The next employment situation report for April 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 8, 2020. 


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BLS Releases February 2020 Consumer Price Index (March 2020)

03.11.2020

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the indexes for shelter and for food were the main causes of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, more than offsetting a decline in the energy index. The food index increased 0.4 percent over the month, with the food at home index rising 0.5 percent, its largest monthly increase since May 2014. The index for energy fell 2.0 percent in February, with all of its major component indexes declining.   

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in February, the same increase as in January. Along with the index for shelter, the indexes for apparel, personal care, used cars and trucks, education, and medical care were among those that increased in February. The indexes for recreation and airline fares declined over the month.   

The all items index increased 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending February, a smaller increase than the 2.5-percent figure for the period ending January. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 2.8 percent over that period.

The release can be viewed at the link below. 


Next release is Friday, April 10, 2020, for the March 2020 Consumer Price Index.


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BLS Releases February 2020 Employment Situation (Mar. 2020)

03.06.2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 273,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, government, construction, professional and technical services, and financial activities.

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 57,000 in February. Health care added 32,000 jobs, with gains in offices of physicians (+10,000), home health care services (+10,000), and hospitals (+8,000). Employment in social assistance increased by 25,000, with a majority of the gain in individual and family services (+18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 368,000 in health care and by 191,000 in social assistance.   Food services and drinking places added 53,000 jobs in February. Employment in the industry has increased by 252,000 over the past 7 months, following a lull in job growth earlier in 2019.

In February, government employment increased by 45,000, led by a gain in state government education (+16,000). Federal employment increased by 8,000, reflecting the hiring of 7,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census.   Construction added 42,000 jobs in February, following a similar gain in January (+49,000). In 2019, job gains averaged 13,000 per month. In February, employment gains occurred in specialty trade contractors (+26,000) and residential building (+10,000). 

In February, employment in professional and technical services increased by 32,000. Job growth occurred in architectural and engineering services (+10,000) and in scientific research and development services (+5,000). Employment continued to trend up in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Over the past 12 months, professional and technical services has added 285,000 jobs.   Employment in financial activities increased by 26,000 in February, with gains in real estate (+8,000) and in credit intermediation and related activities (+6,000). Over the past 12 months, financial activities has added 160,000 jobs.  Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and information, changed little over the month.

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $28.52. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.0 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.96 in February.

The full BLS press release on the February 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:

The next employment situation report for March 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 3, 2020. 

 


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Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2019, Second Estimate (Mar. 2020)

03.03.2020

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1 percent. The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment.  imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.  Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the same as that in the third. In the fourth quarter, a downturn in imports and an acceleration in government spending were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.


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