Nonfarm Workweek

April 3, 2020 In any given month employers can boost output by either additional hiring or by lengthening the number of  hours that their employees work.  Payroll employment for March fell 701 thousand as restaurants and bars closed, retail jobs declined, doctors and...

Average Duration of Unemployment

April 3, 2020 The average duration of unemployment plunged by 3.8 weeks in March from 20.9 weeks to 17.1.  This is because the BLS reported that 3.5 million workers have now been unemployed “less than 5 weeks” compared to 2.0 million who were in that...

Trade Deficit

April 2, 2020 The trade deficit for February narrowed $5.5 billion to $39.9 billion after having narrowed by $3.1 billion in January.  The $887 billion trade deficit in goods for 2018 was a record high level.  It narrowed slightly to $866 billion in 2019. Increasing...

Initial Unemployment Claims

April 2, 2020 Initial unemployment claims for the week of March 28 surged to 6,648 thousand after having rise 3,307 thousand in the prior week..  That is the number of people who showed up at the  unemployment office for the first time last week.  It is a measure of...

Car and Truck Sales

April 1, 2020 Unit car and truck sales fell 32.1% in March to 11.372 million after having declined 1.0% in February.    Clearly, the dramatic measures taken by the federal government and many state governors to halt the spread of the corona virus has stopped the...