Economic and jobs news thread

weatheriscool
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Economic and jobs news thread

Post by weatheriscool »

Weekly jobless claims fell for a sixth straight week to new pandemic-era low
Source: Yahoo! Finance

Thu, June 10, 2021, 8:31 AM

U.S. states saw the fewest new unemployment claims since March 2020 last week, with initial filings down for a sixth straight week as economic activity picked up further.

The Department of Labor released its weekly report on new jobless claims on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus data compiled by Bloomberg:

-- Initial jobless claims, week ended June 5: 376,000 vs. 370,000 expected and 385,000 last week

-- Continuing claims, week ended May 22: 3.499 million vs. 3.650 million expected and 3.771 million last week

Economists expected new filings would come in below the psychologically important level of 400,000 for a back-to-back week and came ever-closer to their pre-pandemic average of just over 200,000 per week. Jobless claims have also set new pandemic-era lows for each of the past five consecutive weeks, trending lower in tandem with rising labor demand during the recovery.

Despite the drop in headline new unemployment claims, the total number of individuals still claiming unemployment benefits has remained elevated, exacerbating concerns over widespread labor shortages.
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Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/weekly-j ... 15377.html
weatheriscool
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Consumer prices surge 5% annually, most since August 2008
https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/inf ... x-may-2021

By Jonathan Garber FOXBusiness
How to protect your portfolio against inflation

Orion Advisor Solutions chief invest strategist Rusty Vanneman shares his market predictions.

U.S. consumer prices increased in May at the fastest annual rate in nearly 13 years as the economic comeback from COVID-19 lockdowns continues to build momentum.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index in May rose 5% year over year, hotter than the 4.7% increase that was anticipated. The reading was above last month’s 4.2% print.

Prices jumped 0.6% month over month, quicker than the 0.4% increase that was expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
weatheriscool
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Re: Economic and jobs news thread

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U.S. Retail Spending Fell 1.3% in May
Source: The Wall Street Journal.

ECONOMY U.S. ECONOMY

U.S. Retail Spending Fell 1.3% in May

Updated June 15, 2021 8:54 am ET
Retail sales dropped 1.3% in May as shoppers pulled back on goods purchases and shifted more of their spending to services.

Consumers cut spending on autos, furniture, electronics, building materials and other items last month while boosting spending at restaurants, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday, as more people got vaccinated against Covid-19 and business restrictions were further eased.

Consumers are venturing out as the pandemic fades, spending more at services businesses that were either shut down or operating with restrictions throughout the pandemic. Economists expect consumer spending to continue powering the economic recovery this year.

Spending, in part driven by government stimulus, has helped propel the broader U.S. economy, which grew at a 6.4% annual rate in the first quarter. Economists project that by the end of this year gross domestic product will reach the path it was projected to follow had the pandemic never happened—and then exceed it, at least temporarily.

Vehicles, however, are in short supply as a global computer-chip shortage has left car dealers with a dearth of inventory. As a result, auto sales likely fell last month. “If you don’t have products, you’ve got nothing to sell and that means lower revenues,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global Ratings.

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Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-economy ... 1623701250
caltrek
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Post by caltrek »

Immigration's Role in America's Labor Shortage
by Dan Primack and Hope King
June 17, 2021

https://www.axios.com/immigration-labor ... 1741d.html

Introduction:
(Axios) America's labor shortage crisis has been exacerbated by immigration restrictions that have reduced the number of both skilled and unskilled workers.

Between the lines: Most of the labor scarcity blame has been aimed at expanded unemployment benefits, hard-to-find child care and low wages. But there is a fourth leg to the stool.

By the numbers: Immigrant and non-immigrant visas issued during the year ended October 2020 were down by nearly five million, or 54%, from 2019.
  • 572,587 fewer people received temporary or permanent worker visas (H, L, O, P, Q, J, and E) in 2020, a 44% drop from 1.3 million in 2019.
  • The most significant drop-offs were for J and Q visas, for work- and study-based programs like au pairs, camp counselors and cultural exchange. Those were down 68% and 63%, respectively.
  • H-visas for specialty work, temporary agricultural and non-agricultural work fell by the smallest percentage (24%).
weatheriscool
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Scotch whisky makers welcome suspension of costly US tariffs
Source: AP

By PAN PYLAS
LONDON (AP) — Scotch single malt whisky makers breathed a sigh of relief Thursday after the United States agreed to suspend tariffs on one of Scotland’s main exports in the wake of the resolution of a long-standing transatlantic trade row over subsidies to aircraft companies Boeing and Airbus.

President Donald Trump imposed the 25% tariffs on select products of the European Union, including Scotch single malt whiskies, in October 2019 as part of the trade dispute. While the U.K. is no longer an EU member, it belonged to the bloc when the tariffs were introduced.

Earlier this week, the U.S. and the EU reached an agreement to end the aerospace dispute, paving the way for a 5-year suspension of tariffs. Parallel talks were held between the U.S. and the U.K. over the tariffs.

The tariffs on Scotch single malts were the most high-profile to affect Britain. The Scotch Whisky Association estimated that they contributed to a 30% fall in total whisky exports to the U.S., equivalent to around 600 million pounds ($850 million) in the 18 months to March 2021.

FILE- This Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, file photo, shows Scotch bottles in Cologne, Germany. Scotch whisky makers are breathing a sigh of relief after the United States agreed to suspend tariffs on one of Scotland’s main exports. U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on single malt Scotch whisky in 2019 as part of a trade dispute between the U.S. and EU countries over aerospace subsidies. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, File)


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/scotch-whisk ... 7c23ef2cf2
weatheriscool
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Smithfield Foods meatpackers approve new union contract
Source: AP
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The union representing workers at the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls said Friday its members have voted in favor of a new contract.

Union leaders say the new contract sends a message to the meatpacking industry that companies need to recognize the sacrifices its employees made during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Smithfield plant was the nation’s most active hot spot for COVID-19 cases in the early weeks of the pandemic. Nearly 1,300 workers at the Sioux Falls pork processing plant tested positive for COVID-19 and four workers died.

B.J. Motley, president of the Union Food and Commercial Workers Local 304A, said in a statement the new contract includes fair pay, good benefits and safety protections that workers have earned and deserve.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/sd-state-wir ... f6328b8eba
weatheriscool
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Jobless claims: Another 364,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

Emily McCormick · Reporter
Thu, July 1, 2021, 8:31 AM·3 min read
New weekly jobless claims fell back below the 400,000 level for the first time in three weeks, resuming improvements after a brief bump higher in initial filings.

The Department of Labor released its weekly report on new jobless claims Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus data compiled by Bloomberg:

-- Initial jobless claims, week ended June 26: 364,000 vs. 388,000 expected and an upwardly revised 415,000 during prior week

-- Continuing claims, week ended June 19: 3.469 million vs. 3.340 million expected and an upwardly revised 3.413 million during prior week

At 364,000, new filings reached the lowest level since March 2020. Prior to Thursday's report, initial unemployment claims had stagnated in recent weeks, holding stubbornly above the 400,000 level even as employers across the economy struggle to fill open positions. However, the overall trend has improved markedly over a longer time horizon, with new claims coming in at about half their total from the beginning of 2021. New claims were coming in at just over 200,000 per week on average throughout 2019.

Many economists are looking for further improvement in the coming months. This would coincide with school reopenings to help alleviate the burden of finding childcare, an increase in consumer mobility and demand over the summer, and a phase-out of federal enhanced unemployment benefits.
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Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/weekly-j ... 50322.html
weatheriscool
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U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June as labor market showed renewed strength
Source: Washington Post


By Eli Rosenberg
July 2, 2021 at 8:32 a.m. EDT
The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June as the pace of the recovery surged -- quieting simmering fears, at least temporarily, of more lasting harm from labor and supply shortages.

The unemployment rate changed little, ticking up to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent. (1)

The news is likely to be seen as a good sign for the economy more than one year into the pandemic, after numerous wrinkles have emerged to complicate a labor recovery many hoped would be faster at this level of vaccinations.

[The economy isn't going back to February 2020. Fundamental shifts have occurred.] (2)

Job growth in April and May, while not anemic, fell well below the hopes that more than one million jobs could be added per month in the spring. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected about 700,000 jobs to be added in June, as the economy continues to chip into the deficit of 7.5 million less jobs that country has filled than before the pandemic.

{snip}

By Eli Rosenberg
Eli Rosenberg covers work and labor for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2017 after a decade in New York, where he worked at the New York Times, the Daily News, and the Brooklyn Paper. He has covered misinformation campaigns, politics in the Trump era, immigration issues, and disasters across the country. Twitter https://twitter.com/emrosenberg
(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... -shortage/

(2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... y-changes/?

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... -shortage/
weatheriscool
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US job openings rise to record high, layoffs hit record low
Source: AP

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted a record-high number of open jobs for the second straight month as a rapidly rebounding economy generates intense demand for workers.

The number of available jobs on the last day of May rose slightly to 9.21 million, from 9.19 million in April, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That is the highest since records began in December 2000. The previously-reported figure for April of 9.3 million was revised lower.

The number of people quitting their jobs slipped in May from a record high in April, but remains elevated. And the percentage of workers getting laid off hit a record low in May, the report said.

The figures point to a tight job market, with employers forced to pay more to attract workers yet still struggling to fill open jobs. And many workers are leaving jobs for better-paying positions at other companies. It’s unusual for such dynamics to have kicked in with the unemployment rate still elevated at 5.9% in June, as the government reported last week.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/health-coron ... 3586896680
weatheriscool
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Prices rise 5.4 percent in June over last year as economy continues to recover
Source: Washington Post

Prices rose 5.4 percent in June compared with one year ago, reflecting upward-creeping inflation throughout the economy, as more consumers open their wallets and supply chains struggle to bounce back from pandemic pressures.

Still, policymakers at the Federal Reserve and White House continue to predict that as the economy has time to heal, inflation will settle back down.

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday showed that prices rose 0.9 percent in the past month. The latest figures aren’t likely to rattle officials who have long maintained that the price increases are a temporary feature of a bumpy economic recovery. Their expectation is that inflation will simmer down closer to the Fed’s 2 percent annual target next year and in 2023.

There are a few reasons inflation is on the rise. For starters, prices in 2021 are being compared to those from 2020, when the pandemic caused the economy to shut down and prices fell.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... rices-fed/
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