Economic News in Review Greenville SC
Here is last week’s Economic News in Review Greenville SC.
The unemployment rate hit a new low, while lay-offs increased, but remained in safe territory. Meanwhile construction spending enjoyed a solid uptick that continued this year’s upward trend.
The unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.1 percent in August, after the economy added 173,000 non-farm jobs during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. The number of unemployed Americans is now down to 8 million.
Key growth sectors for new jobs were healthcare, social assistance and financial services. Categories that saw losses were manufacturing and mining.
August’s civilian labor force participation rate — the rate at which the employable portion of the population is employed or actively seeking work — hovered at 62.6 percent for the third month in a row. With more jobs being added, while participation staying the same, it’s likely the unemployment rate could recede even further.
“Given that the labor force is barely growing at all, current job growth rates will continue to rapidly lower the unemployment rate to below 5 percent by year’s end,” Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic and labor research at The Conference Board, told National Public Radio.
The population of long-term unemployed people, who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, totaled 2.2 million in August, which accounted for 27.7 percent of all unemployed Americans. The number of people involuntarily employed on a part-time basis for reasons such as their hours were cut or that was the only work they could get, saw little change, totaling 6.5 million.
Initial Jobless Claims
In other employment news, lay-offs saw a stiff increase. New claims for unemployment benefits filed during the week ending August 29 grew to 282,000, a gain of 12,000 claims from the prior week’s level of 270,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. While a sizable gain, total initial jobless claims remained under the 300,000-claim ceiling that economists say indicates a growing job market.
The four-week moving average — considered a more reliable measure of jobless activity — hit 275,500 claims, a smaller rise of 3,250 claims from the preceding week’s average of 272,250.
Turning to real estate news, construction spending during July hit an annual rate of $1,083.4 billion, which was 0.7 percent higher than the revised June estimate of $1,075.9 billion, according to last week’s report from the Census Bureau. Spending on residential construction hit an annual rate of $380.8 billion in July, which marked a 1.1 percent gain over June’s $376.6 billion sales pace.
Compared to last year, July’s overall construction spending was 13.7 percent higher than July 2014’s rate of $952.5 billion. Moreover, this summer has enjoyed solid success, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson.
“The overall impression from the past few months is that the construction sector overall is the strongest part of the economy, with spending up at a remarkable 26 percent annualized rate in the three months to July,” Shepherdson wrote in a note to clients.
Economic News in Review Greenville SC
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