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Tag Archives: Jobs Byte

Pandemic-Caused Plunge in Restaurant Jobs Leads to First Job Loss Since April

The pain from the recession is heavily concentrated among the long-term unemployed. The economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, all of which can be attributed to a plunge in restaurant employment of 372,000. Other sectors highly sensitive to the pandemic, such as hotels and recreation, also lost jobs. The unemployment rate and employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) were both unchanged at 6.7 percent and 57.4 percent, respectively. The resurgence of the pandemic further heightened the two-track...

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PREVIEW: What to Look for in the December Jobs Report

(The monthly Employment Situation is scheduled for release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, January 8th at 8:30 AM Eastern Time.) Soaring coronavirus infection rates are likely to be the main story in the employment report in December. Fear of the pandemic, coupled with new state and local restrictions, has led to a fall in restaurant reservations to levels not seen since early June. Presumably, other businesses requiring close personal contact have been similarly affected. In...

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Economy Adds 245,000 Jobs in November, Unemployment Falls to 6.7 Percent

Contrary to normal patterns, the workweek has actually gotten longer in the pandemic recession.  The rebound slowed sharply in November, with the economy adding just 245,000 jobs. This would ordinarily be a very respectable gain, but with the economy still down almost 10 million jobs from the pre-pandemic level, it is not a pace that gets us back to full employment any time soon. If we need 100,000 jobs a month to keep pace with the growth of the labor market, it would take us more than five...

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Economy Adds 638,000 Jobs in October, Unemployment Falls to 6.9 Percent

The number of multiple job holders stands at 17.8 percent below its year-ago level. The labor market continued to rebound from the spring shutdown, adding 638,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell another percentage point to 6.9 percent. This still leaves the number of jobs 6.6 percent below the February level. The jobs gains were broadly based across sectors. Construction added 84,000 jobs, which is consistent with other data showing a boom in residential construction. Employment in...

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PREVIEW: What the October Jobs Report Will Tell Us

There have been some anomalies in the data that are worth tracking. With the period of rapid recovery from the shutdowns behind us, the labor market is likely looking at a long slog to get back to something resembling full employment. It clearly has lost considerable momentum now that the bulk of the CARES Act money has been spent. Furthermore, the economy will face serious headwinds, as the unchecked spread of the pandemic will lead to more measures curtailing business operations. It will...

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Economy Adds 1.4 Million Jobs in August, Unemployment Falls to 8.4 Percent

Even with strong job growth the last four months, we have recovered less than half the jobs lost due to the pandemic. The August employment report showed the economy again adding back jobs at a strong rate. The reported gain of 1,371,000 somewhat overstates underlying strength since it includes the addition of 238,000 temporary Census jobs. However, even without these jobs, the gain would still be over 1.1 million. The unemployment rate dropped 1.8 percentage point to 8.4 percent, while the...

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Economy Creates 1.8 Million Jobs in July, Production Workers’ Wages Fall

There is no evidence that generous unemployment benefits are making it difficult to find workers. The July employment report showed the economy adding another 1,761,000 jobs in July. This follows gains of 2,725,000 in May, and 4,791,000 in June, leaving the economy down 12,881,000 jobs from its February level. The unemployment rate fell from 11.1 percent to 10.2 percent, while the employment to population ratio (EPOP) rose from 54.6 percent to 55.1 percent. These gains likely overstate the...

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Economy Brings Back 4.8 Million Jobs in June, Unemployment at 11.1 Percent

Since February, employment rates for Black men and Hispanic men have dropped 9.4 percentage points and 10.3 percentage points, respectively. The June employment report showed the economy adding back 4.8 million jobs, following a gain of 2.7 million (revised up by 200,000) in May. This two-month gain leaves the economy down by just under 14.7 million jobs from its pre-pandemic level in February. The unemployment rate fell 2.2 percentage points to 11.1 percent. However, this understates the...

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Employment Jumps 2.5 Million in May, as Unemployment Falls to 13.3 Percent

Seventy-three percent of the unemployed report being on temporary layoffs. The May jobs numbers were considerably better than most analysts had expected with the economy reportedly adding 2,509,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell by 1.4 percentage points to 13.3 percent. This improved labor market picture should not have been surprising since many businesses across the country had reopened by the survey week in mid-April. The high number of unemployment insurance claims, continuing...

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Consumer Price Index Plunges 0.8 Percent, Core Falls 0.4 Percent

Food prices rose 2.6 percent in April, reflecting a large increase in store-bought food.  The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.8 percent in April, driven again by large price declines in sectors that were hit hard by pandemic-related shutdowns. Gas prices fell 20.6 percent, following a drop of 10.5 percent in March. They are now 32.0 percent below their year-ago level. Apparel prices had an extraordinary 4.7 percent decline, following a drop of 2.0 percent in March. Prices are now...

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