Nonfarm Productivity

August 15, 2019 Non-farm productivity climbed 2.3% in the second quarter after having jumped 3.5% in the first quarter.   During the course of the past year productivity has risen 1.8%.  The 2.3% increase in the second quarter consists of a 1.9% increase in output...

Unit Labor Costs

August 15, 2019 Unit labor costs might be a term that is not familiar to you.  Unit labor costs represent the increase in compensation adjusted for the gains in productivity.  You might think that if labor costs are rising that would put upward pressure on...

Hourly Compensation

August 15, 2019 The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that hourly compensation rose 4.7% in the second quarter after having surged 8.9% in the first quarter.  This means that over the past year hourly compensation has climbed by a solid 4.3%.  That is the largest...

Retail Sales

August 15, 2019 Retail sales rose 0.7 in July after having risen 0.3% in June and 0.5% in May..    While relatively soft late last year and in the first two months of 2019, sales are coming on strong.  During the past year retail sales have risen a solid 3.4%. but in...

Initial Unemployment Claims

August 15, 2019 Initial unemployment claims rose 9 thousand in the week ending August 10 to 220 thousand.  The four-week average of claims rose 1 thousand to 214 thousand.  The 4-week average for the week of April 13 of 202 thousand was the lowest for the current...

Small Business Optimism

August 13, 2019 .Small business optimism rose 1.4 points in July to 104.7 after having declined 1.7 points in June.  The August 2018  level of 108.8  broke the previous record high level of 108.0 set 35 years ago back in July 1983.  The current level of confidence...