Is the Falling Rate of U.S. Personal Income Growth a New Risk Factor?

Friday’s weak jobs report has taken some of the air out of the optimism balloon for the US macro outlook, but in the search for things to worry about I’m more inclined to focus on the discouraging trend of late with personal income. To be precise, the decelerating year-over-year change in personal income less transfer receipts (Social […]

The Lousy December Jobs Report and the Scourge of Inequality

The U.S. economy created a measly 74,000 new jobs in December, and a smaller percentage of working-age Americans is now employed than at any time in the last three decades (before women surged into the workforce). What does this have to do with the fact that median household incomes continue to drop (adjusted for inflation) and that 95 percent […]

U.S. Private Payrolls Increased Far Less Than Expected in December

If you haven’t been skeptical of the noise factor in month-to-month economic numbers, today’s nonfarm payrolls report from the US Labor Department should change your worldview. Private-sector employment grew by far less than expected: +87,000 in December vs. the previous month and well below November’s hefty 226,000 advance. If we stop there the news looks troubling. But […]

U.S. Nonfarm Private Payrolls: December 2013 Preview

Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to increase by 219,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s December update from the Labor Department, according to The Capital Spectator’s average econometric point forecast. The projected gain is moderately above the previously reported increase of 196,000 for November. Meanwhile, The Capital Spectator’s average December projection exceeds a pair […]

U.S. Jobless Claims at Five-Week Low

Jobless claims fell last week, settling at the lowest level since late-November. The news follows yesterday’s encouraging employment report from ADP. Taken together, the data suggest that tomorrow’s December payrolls report from the Labor Department will also offer more support for thinking that economic growth is picking up. Meantime, new filings for unemployment benefits fell 15,000 last week […]

US Kicks Off 2014 With a Pair of Upbeat Macro Numbers

The new year’s off to an encouraging start with economic news. Today’s updates on jobless claims and the ISM Manufacturing Index suggest that moderate growth was still bubbling in the final month of 2013. Although December’s macro profile is still largely a mystery, the numbers du jour imply that last year’s finale will compare favorably with recent history when […]

Is the Labor Force Participation Rate About to Fall Again?

A few posts back my Atlanta Fed colleagues Tim Dunne and Ellie Terry offered up our latest contribution to the ongoing head-scratching over the rather spectacular decline in U.S. labor force participation (LFP) since the onset of the Great Recession in December 2007. “Rather spectacular” in this case means a fall in the participation rate from […]