Tag: Labour economics

A worrisome job-market trend may last longer than previously thought — and it spells trouble for millions of vulnerable Americans
Unemployment

A worrisome job-market trend may last longer than previously thought — and it spells trouble for millions of vulnerable Americans

A new study from the Federal Reserve’s San Francisco branch finds that companies’ increasing reliance on part-time and contract work in the aftermath of the Great Recession may be more permanent than previously thought.
A high instance of involuntary part-time work points to a labor market that is less robust than the headlines suggest.
A separate study finds more reliable schedules “actually increased both sales and labor productivity, signaling a high return on investment.”
But new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests the temporary-work trend is, well, not so temporary. “The shift toward service industries with uneven work schedules and the rising importance of the gig economy appear to be long-term trends that are unlikely to reverse in the near future,” Rob Valletta, a vice president in the San Francisco Fed’s research department, wrote in a new blog post.
The rising share of US employment occurring in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as in education and health, “both of which have high rates of part-time employment, made especially large contributions to the overall change,” according to Valletta.
The trend also suggests US employment conditions are less robust than the headline 4.1% unemployment rate would suggest.
It found that more stable scheduling could actually boost sales and productivity. “Most retailers operate under the assumption that stabilizing employees’ schedules would hurt their financial performance because instability is an inevitable outcome of variable demand patterns in retail stores,” the report found.
The authors found that more reliable schedules “actually increased both sales and labor productivity, signaling a high return on investment.”

Blackstone executive Tony James cites tight labor market
Unemployment

Blackstone executive Tony James cites tight labor market

Blackstone Group is facing the tightest labor market in nearly two decades and struggling to fill openings, according to Tony James, executive vice chairman of the private equity firm.
We’re at full employment.
And it’s just hard for companies to hire workers.” The unemployment held steady in March for a sixth straight month at a 17-year low of 4.1%, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The labor shortage is more intense in certain regions across the country.
In the Midwest, for instance, there are too many open jobs and not enough people to fill them, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
In order to fill positions, employers will turn to immigrants – particularly for jobs that citizens don’t want, according to James.
“We have a lot of openings that we can’t fill,” James said.
“So you have to take that in context.
It’s a lot easier to put big employment numbers up if you can find the people to take the job.
It doesn’t matter.

The sky isn’t falling for the job market
Unemployment

The sky isn’t falling for the job market

But this follows a month when employers added more than 300,000 jobs.
And even though some scoff when economists cite weather as an excuse for poor numbers, it does seem like the cold snap that took place in March had a legitimate impact on the labor market — particularly the construction sector, which lost 15,000 jobs.
Wages crept slightly higher, too, up 2.7% over the past 12 months.
Inflation and interest rates are going higher but at a slow, grinding pace.
And that would be particularly bad news because manufacturing is one of the brightest spots of the job market right now.
Manufacturers added 22,000 jobs in March alone and 232,000 jobs over the past year.
But Wasif Latif, head of global multi-assets at USAA, isn’t worried that manufacturers — or other businesses, for that matter — will start to slow their hiring because of the trade rhetoric.
Latif added that many businesses are still optimistic because of lower corporate tax rates.
And those tax cuts, which were just talk last year, are now a real thing that companies can count on and build into their budgets.
A trade war?

Workers getting bigger paychecks, but wages still aren’t rising rapidly
Unemployment

Workers getting bigger paychecks, but wages still aren’t rising rapidly

Jeffry An ultra-low unemployment rate and multiplying labor shortages are helping to boost pay for American workers, but wages still aren’t soaring like an eagle.
While that’s faster than the annual 2% gains that were the norm early in the expansion, it still falls short of the 3% to 4% increases that usual prevail when the unemployment rate is as low as it is now.
Slower wage gains are a double-edged sword.
That’s the good news.
Is that about to change?
Some evidence suggests workers on the cusp of bigger increases in wages.
In a new study, Morgan Stanley found that earnings are rising most rapidly in high-wage industries on the service side of the economy such as finance, health care and media.
Workers in the middle are the ones who’ve gained the least.
If that keeps up, economists expects yearly wage growth to hit 3% later this year.
Indeed, it may already be happening.

US jobless claims drop to more than 45-year low
Unemployment

US jobless claims drop to more than 45-year low

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to more than a 45-year low last week, suggesting the economy remains strong despite signs of a slowdown in the first quarter.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended March 24, the lowest level since January 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Data for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 fewer claims received than previously reported.
That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment.
The jobless rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, not too far from the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.
It also said claims-taking procedures in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had still not returned to normal after the territories were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.
Economists are optimistic that tightening labor market conditions will start boosting wage growth in the second half of this year.
The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 12,750 to 1.86 million.
The four-week average of continuing claims declined 46,000 between the February and March survey periods, suggesting little change in the jobless rate this month.

These 5 charts show the state of pay and employment in Britain
Unemployment

These 5 charts show the state of pay and employment in Britain

The Resolution Foundation’s report included a whole heap of charts looking at the state of the labour market right now, analysing where Brits are getting pay rises, how much those pay rises are, and how the near future looks for jobs. “Job-to-job moves are an important sign of a healthy labour market, particularly when they are voluntary,” the report notes. “Moving jobs voluntarily usually comes with a pay rise and allows others to move as well.
If unemployment among the young, single parent, and BAME workers is increasing, the rest of the labour market will likely follow suit soon after. “Any indication that unemployment was on the rise would first be apparent in data on groups more likely to find themselves out of work in a downturn,” the Resolution Foundation notes. “However the unemployment rate for younger workers has plateaued, or risen, since Q1 2017. “The evidence is that those that move region and employer earn the highest pay rises, although the returns differ by region.
Interestingly the variation in returns and the difference between the average return earned and the return to moving to London have both risen in the post-crisis period,” the report notes. “While the share of people who move region for work is low (around 0.5 per cent of employees per annum or 100,000 people) it is a broader sign of labour market dynamism and those moving region tend to earn the highest pay rises.” “While the (nominal) pay rise for those moving jobs is back at pre-crisis levels (at around 6-7 per cent), the returns to moving jobs and region are down compared to the pre-crisis period.”

US weekly jobless claims increase modestly
Unemployment

US weekly jobless claims increase modestly

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell discusses the strength of the job market and why the Fed decided to raise the federal funds rate.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the increase was marginal, suggesting strong job growth in March that should underpin consumer spending.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 for the week ended March 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims have now been below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market, for 159 straight weeks.
The U.S. central bank raised interest rates on Wednesday and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, in a vote of confidence in the economy.
The claims data covered the survey period for March non-farm payrolls.
The four-week average of claims fell 1,750 between the February and March survey periods, suggesting another month of solid job gains.
Economists are optimistic that tightening labor market conditions will start boosting wage growth in the second half of this year.
The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid declined 57,000 to 1.83 million in the week ended March 10.
The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims dropped 11,750 to 1.88 million.

Australian wage growth is likely to pick up — but don’t start celebrating just yet
Unemployment

Australian wage growth is likely to pick up — but don’t start celebrating just yet

The RBA is banking on stronger wage growth to help lift inflation and economic growth in the years ahead.
Most leading labour market indicators all point to stronger wage pressures as labour market conditions strengthen.
While few see any meaningful lift in wages arriving any time soon, there are signs that the labour market is slowly tightening.
The unemployment rate, at 5.5%, is edging lower while broader measures of labour market underutilisation such as underemployment, measuring the proportion of Australians who have a job but who would like to work more hours, is also starting to decline, albeit from elevated levels.
It suggests that Australia’s record-breaking pace of job creation seen in 2017 is helping to tighten labour market conditions.
And this next chart also suggests that labour market conditions are tightening.
And as labour market conditions gradually tighten, there are signs emerging that average advertised salaries are also starting to increase.
“The Reserve Bank’s central scenario is that, over time, this will become a more general story.” While Lowe appears confident that ongoing strong demand for workers will help to lift wage pressures more broadly in the period ahead, markets will get to gauge the other side of the equation — labour supply — when the ABS releases Australia’s jobs report for February.
Even with the gradual reduction in labour market underutilisation seen in recent years, current levels of annual wage growth remain well below what they were during similar levels of underutilisation in the past.
Should that trend continue, it suggests that any lift in wage pressures from lower levels of labour market slack is likely to be subdued.

Last Week in Numbers: Singapore’s Local Labour Market Expands
Unemployment

Last Week in Numbers: Singapore’s Local Labour Market Expands

At the same time, the combined unemployment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents declined to 3% from 3.2% a year ago.
The rate of re-entry into employment within six months was about 65%.
The median income for a Singaporean in full-time work, including CPF, also increased to $4,050 last June, up 5.9% from the previous year.
New private home sales in Singapore declined 61.5% in February from a year ago.
On a monthly basis, there was a 28% decline in sales from the 524 units sold in January.
Singapore had a score of 116.
China’s fixed asset investment growth also expanded 7.9% during that time.
Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.1%, an increase from 6% a year ago.
Theranos had a peak valuation of US$9 billion.
The SEC has charged Holmes and former Teranos president, Ramesh Balwani, with raising more than US$700 million by exaggerating or lying about their business and technology.

US jobless claims fall as labor market strengthens
Unemployment

US jobless claims fall as labor market strengthens

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 226,000 for the week ended March 10, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims dropped to 210,000 during the week ended Feb. 24, which was the lowest level since December 1969.
That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
The economy created 313,000 jobs in February.
Economists are optimistic that tightening labor market conditions will start boosting wage growth in the second half of this year.
That should help to underpin consumer spending, which slowed at the start of the year.
Data on Wednesday showed retail sales fell in February for a third straight month, prompting economists to lower their gross domestic product growth estimates to as low as a 1.7 percent annualized rate from as high as a 2.6 percent pace.
The economy grew at a 2.5 percent pace in the fourth quarter.
The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid rose 4,000 to 1.88 million in the week ended March 3.
The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 17,250 to 1.89 million, the lowest level since early November.