Federal Data: Retail Sales Remain Flat, Job Openings Decline

Retail sales did not meet expectations and the number of job openings declined in states around the country, newly released federal data show. 

The U.S. Census Bureau released data Wednesday showing retail sales remained unchanged for the month of July, despite expectations of a 0.1% increase. A drop in gas prices and auto sales helped fuel the decrease.

Read More

Report: Labor Productivity Dropped Most Since 1948

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new economic data Tuesday showing the sharpest quarterly decline in labor productivity since 1948.

BLS reported a 4.6% decrease in labor productivity in the second quarter of this year as the economy shrank and labor costs rose. This data follows a decrease in productivity the first quarter of 2022 as well.

Read More

Small Businesses Risk Shutting Down in Droves Amid Elevated Inflation, Energy Prices

Nearly half of American small business owners say they are at risk of closing down this fall, according to new survey data.

The small business network Alignable released the survey, which found that “47% of small business owners … say their businesses are at risk of closing by fall 2022, unless economic conditions improve significantly.”

Read More

Producer Price Index Rises 11.3 Percent, Another Worrying Inflation Marker

Producer prices soared by 11.3% in June over a year ago as consumers continue to struggle with skyrocketing prices for just about everything.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Producer Price Index data Thursday, which showed a 1.1% increase last month, contributing to a 11.3% increase in the past 12 months, “the largest increase since a record 11.6% jump in March 2022.”

Read More

Pennsylvania Has Lost 30,000 Nursing Home Workers Since Start of Pandemic

Staff member at nursing home showing smartphone to elderly woman

Jobs in nursing and residential care facilities fell dramatically during the pandemic and have yet to recover. Due to economic factors and long-term aging trends in Pennsylvania, bouncing back won’t be easy.

About 202,000 workers were in long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania in March 2020 before the pandemic hit, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since then, the numbers have fallen to 172,300 as of February. The worker loss may have finally ended, as preliminary figures for March show 172,700 workers.

Read More

Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in over 50 Years

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 187,000 in the week ending March 19, the lowest level in over 50 years, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department’s figure showed a decrease of 28,000 compared to the week ending March 12, when new claims numbered 215,000, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This week’s claims were well below the predictions of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who estimated that new claims would total 210,000.

Read More

Wholesale Price Inflation Reaches Double Digits

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices suppliers charge businesses and other customers, surged 0.8% on a month-over-month basis as of February as consumer demand continues to spur inflation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Tuesday.

The PPI grew 10% on a year-over-year basis as of February, the BLS reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated wholesale prices would increase 0.9% on a monthly basis in the latest report.

Read More

Republican Leaders Slam Biden After Jobs Report Shows ‘Massive Miss’

Republican leaders slammed President Joe Biden after December’s jobs report released Friday reported numbers well below economists’ projections, highlighting the report as another example of how the president mishandled the post-pandemic recovery.

The U.S. economy added only 199,000 jobs in December while unemployment dipped to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected that the economy would add 422,000 jobs in December and that unemployment to fall to 4.1%.

“Our economy should be soaring right now, but the policies of this administration continue to stifle growth and hold back American businesses and workers,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement.

Read More

Producer Price Index Grows the Fastest It Ever Has

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, soared 9.6% year-over-year as of November, growing at the fastest rate ever measured, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Tuesday.

BLS reported that the PPI, which measures inflation before it hits consumers, grew 0.8% in November. As of October, the measure grew just 8.6% on a year-over-year basis and just 0.6% in that month alone, meaning wholesale prices grew more and to a worse yearly figure in November than they did in October.

Economists projected a year-over-year increase of the core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, to be 7.2% year-over-year and a 0.4% increase from October, according to CNBC. Demand for goods was the biggest driver for the surge in producer prices, increasing 1.2% in November, slightly down from October’s 1.3% figure. Final demand services inflation increased 0.7% in November, much faster than October’s 0.2%.

Read More

Inflation Increases at Record Rate for Second Month in a Row

Woman shopping

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, rose 8.6% year-over-year as of October, growing at a record rate for a second straight month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Thursday.

BLS reported Thursday that the PPI, which measures inflation before it hits consumers, grew 0.6% in October, in line with Dow Jones estimates, highlighting that inflationary pressure is still strong.

Over 60% of the month-over-month increase in producer prices resulted from a 1.2% spike in the price of goods rather than services, BLS reported. Goods prices rose 1.2% in October compared to a 0.2% increase in the cost of services.

Read More

U.S. Adds 531,000 Jobs in October, Exceeding Expectations

The U..S. economy recorded an increase of 531,000 jobs in October, and unemployment fell by 0.2% as the labor market recovers from the summer lows, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September, according to the BLS report released Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 450,000 jobs would be added in October.

While unemployment claims continue to fall, the country still struggles with labor shortages, supply chain issues and growing inflation.  Job growth was widespread throughout the economy in October, with leisure and hospitality adding 164,000 jobs, professional and business adding 100,000 and manufacturing adding 60,000 jobs, according to the BLS report.

Read More