Earlier this week economists were projecting the official government jobs report due on Friday, that is tomorrow, would show that the U.S. economy added just 200,000 jobs in June. This morning, however, the ADP Research Institute’s survey of private employers showed the economy added 497,000 jobs in June. That’s more than twice the 220,000 gain that economists had projected for this report. And way above the 267,000 jobs reported by this survey in May.
Initial jobless claims rose by 28,000 to 261,000 in the week ended June 3, which included the Memorial Day holiday, according to the Labor Department, Thursday, June 8. The increase was the biggest since July 2021 and exceeded all forecasts in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The total number of new applications was the highest since October 2021, suggesting mounting layoff announcements may be starting to translate into job cuts.
The U.S. economy added a monster 339,000 jobs in May. Economists had been looking for 180,000 to 190,000 jobs. On the news, stocks rallied. Strongly. The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed up 1.45%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 2.12% higher. The NASDAQ Composite added 1.07% and the NASDAQ 100 finished up 0.73%. The small-cap Russell 2000 moved higher by 3.56%. So why did stocks move up?
The Producer Price Index rose 0.25% in April from March and at a 2.3% rate year-over-year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, May 11. This index measures prices at the wholesale level–changes at that level eventually show up in the prices that consumers pay so they’re an indicator of the direction of future consumer inflation. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected producer prices to rise 0.3% in April on a monthly basis and 2.5% on a yearly basis. In March, producer prices slipped 0.5% on a monthly basis and rose 2.7% on a yearly basis. The annual 2.5% rate is the lowest annual increase in producer inflation in more than two years. So in these numbers, we’ve got clear evidence that inflation is falling. But, also this morning, initial claims for unemployment for the week ending May 6 rose 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 claims. That was above expectations from economists surveyed by Reuters for 245,000 initial claims for unemployment. The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment hit a 1-1/2-year high.
The U.S. economy added 253,000 jobs in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today, Friday, May 5. The official unemployment rate dipped by 10 basis points to 3.4%. (The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers who have stopped looking for a job and workers with part-time jobs who would like full-time work, fell to 6.1% in April (before seasonal adjustments) from 6.8% in March.) Economists were looking for the economy to add just 180,000 jobs in the month. The number is a huge surge after a drop from 472,000 jobs added in January to a revised 165,000 in March.
Higher initial claims for unemployment report today suggests smaller jobs gains in tomorrow’s report for April
Initial claims for unemployment rose by the most in six weeks while continuing claims fell in the week ended April 29, the Labor Department reported this morning. Initial unemployment claims rose by 13,000 to 242,000. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were looking for 240,000 initial claims. Continuing claims, which include people who have received unemployment benefits for a week or more and are a good indicator of how hard it is for people to find work after losing their jobs, fell by 38,000 to 1.81 million in the week ended April 22. That marked the biggest drop since July. If you think that a rise in unemployment and a weakening of the labor market is a good thing, as the Federal Reserve does, because it sets the stage for a decline in inflation, then today’s data had its negative aspects too. A separate report out today showed U.S. worker productivity declined in the first quarter by more than forecast and labor costs accelerated. That’s a strong argument for higher inflation.
On Monday, October 17, Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed that it had laid off nearly 1,000 employees across multiple divisions, including Xbox division staff this week.
Job openings in the United States fell in June to a nine-month low. The number of available positions decreased to 10.7 million in the month from an upwardly revised 11.3 million in May, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed Tuesday. The 605,000 decline was the biggest since April 2020. I’m sure this data has caught the Federal Reserve’s eye.
New claims for unemployment in regular state programs well for the week ended October 30 to a seasonally adjusted 269,000.
New claims for unemployment dropped to 712,000 in regular state programs in the week ended March 6, the Labor Department reported today. That drop of 42,000 from the prior week was a bigger drop than economists had projected. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were looking for 725,000 new claims in regular state programs.
Granted this is just a projection, and that nobody really knows what the economy will look like over the next three years, but it’s still depressing news. The nonpartisan–although frequently reviled by the Trump administration–Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. unemployment rate won’t fall to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The office says that the unemployment rate will fall to a still elevated 5.7% in 2021, to 5$ in 2022, and to 4.7% in 2023. From 2026 to 2031 the unemployment rate will average 4.1%, well above the 3.7% it average in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. The unemployment rate was a historically low 3.5% in February 2020