All Posts Tagged: unemployment rate

U.S. Outlook: Job growth bounces back in March

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Despite a weaker than expected ADP employment report that seemed to highlight downside risks to today’s jobs numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a stronger than expected rebound in nonfarm payrolls in March.

Nonfarm employment increased 196K last month from an upwardly revised 33K gain in February. The net upward revision for January and February payrolls was a solid 14K jobs. Clearly, fears that U.S. job growth was going to rapidly deteriorate following February’s much worse than expected original estimate of 20K jobs were wildly exaggerated. However, don’t celebrate the nonfarm payroll jump in March too heartily. There are signs below the surface of today’s headline jobs gain that the U.S. labor market could be in for a rougher time ahead.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 5.

Key observations:
  • U.S. job growth is decelerating, just not at the pace that would herald the arrival of an economic recession.
  • In the March jobs report, we saw net job losses of 6K in manufacturing and 12K jobs in retail trade. These sectors tend to be some of the more cyclical sectors for employment so increasing job loss here could be a sign of slower overall job growth ahead.
  • After jumping 0.4 percentage points in February, average hourly earnings growth managed only a 0.1 percentage point gain in March and the year-on-year increase slipped to 3.2% from 3.4%.
  • The three-month average annualized growth rate is even worse at 3.0%. This is not the trend we need see in order to sustain real consumer spending at last year’s pace, or to stoke an acceleration in core consumer inflation back to the Fed’s 2.0% target

Read my full report.

Read More ›

California Economic Outlook – April 2019

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
The lights of Los Angeles glow under a sunset sky

Our California Economic Outlook compares regions across the state. How did your region of the state shape-up in Q1 and what’s the forecast for the future?

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Thanksgiving comes early this year

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
closeup on palate of food delivered by grocery employee.

Rather than a scary October payroll report appropriate for the Halloween season, investors and analysts received an early Thanksgiving surprise.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Don’t let the headline fool you; job engine is intact

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Business people on a break in a glass covered space.

Hurricane Florence muddied the waters of the September payroll report.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: On the hunt for a better job

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Business man on Wall St. at top of escalator carrying folded newspapers

It is widely known that the U.S. economy is creating new jobs at a rapid pace. Since the expansion started, the economy has added nearly 20 million jobs.

Read More ›