Stock market today, July 17, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up yesterday (Wednesday) for its 15th record-breaking close in 2014. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified before Congress, reiterating that the economy remains vulnerable to a struggling job market and stagnating wages - two reasons why the central bank will continue its loose monetary policy in 2014.
Here are the top headlines in the stock market today you should know to make your Thursday profitable...
U.S. jobs report
U.S. Labor Department Jobs Report: Big Gains in June, but Still Lagging Behind
Optimism surrounded Thursday's release of the June U.S. Labor Department Jobs Report, but although the numbers were better than expected, we still have plenty to worry about, and the economy is still in trouble.
Employers added 288,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate dipped to 6.1% from 6.3%, the lowest level since September 2008.Despite some encouraging figures in the jobs report, it is still peppered with troubling data - like these dismal numbers...
May Jobs Report: Employment Exceeds Pre-Recession Peak, but Hold the Cheers…
The May jobs report had the potential to pass for decent, but then we looked at the labor force participation rate...See why this latest U.S. jobs report is flashing some warning signs about our economy.
March Jobs Report: Still Stuck in Second Gear
The highly anticipated March jobs report out today supported what U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said earlier this week: The job market is not back to normal and the Fed has more to do on the unemployment front.
This morning, the U.S. government announced that the economy barely missed expectations of 200,000 new jobs in March 2014, adding 192,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%.
The lukewarm announcement was cheered mainly for its revisions for... To continue reading click here...
February Jobs Report: More Job Seekers, Still Too Few Jobs
Following two months of dismal growth, the February jobs report suggests an improving labor landscape. But despite the numbers, the employment picture remains cloudy at best.
The Labor Department reported today (Friday) that employers added 175,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of 150,000. Yet the February figure is still well below the 280,000 jobs created in the same month a year ago.To continue reading, please click here...
January Jobs Report: Even the Cooked Numbers Are Bad
The January jobs report is another sign of how weak our economic recovery is - and it's not even taking into account all of the unemployed.
Friday, the Labor Department reported employers added 113,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6% from 6.7% in January, a rate not seen in five years.
But we know that number doesn't tell the full story...
The decline in the unemployment rate is due to an ongoing trend: discouraged workers exiting the labor force.
The actual unemployment rate, the U-6 rate, which includes "marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons," remains at an unhealthy 12.7%.To continue reading, please click here...
- Dismal December Jobs Report Tells Us What the Government Doesn't Want To After several months of promising reports, December's brutally low numbers delivered a sobering dose of reality. Even a welcome decline in the unemployment rate to 6.7% masked bad news. But the key point now is what this jobs report tells us about the health of the U.S. economy, and, in particular, what that means for stocks...
- October Jobs Report: Labor Force Shrinks to 35-Year Low The October jobs report looks surprisingly strong – until you dig deeper. Employers increased headcount, yet the labor force hit a 35-year low. The unemployment rate actually went up, as did the number of temporary workers. All those trends are going in the wrong direction. And here's what that means for the markets...
Here's How Many Jobs We Need to Add Every Month for the Next Four Years
Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani joined Stuart Varney of FOX Business' "Varney & Co." today (Wednesday) to go over the bungled and belated September jobs report.
This month's Bureau of Labor Statistics' report, initially scheduled for release Oct. 4, was delayed until Oct. 22 on account of the government shutdown. But it looks like the extra days didn't help sort out jobs data - the BLS is now under fire for releasing numbers that simply don't add up.To continue reading, please click here...
- Beware the Strange Data in the September Jobs Report The September jobs report, delayed for weeks because of the government shutdown, is not at all what anyone expected. Not only did the headline number of 148,000 jobs fall far short of expectations but a lot of the underlying numbers just don't quite add up. Here's why we're skeptical of the latest jobs report...
What the August Jobs Report Means for "Septaper"
Investors generally took the lackluster August jobs report as a sign the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold off announcing a tapering of its $85 billion a month bond program at the Sept. 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The Labor Department reported today (Friday) that U.S. job growth last month increased by a less-than-expected 169,000 jobs, adding to signs that economic growth likely slowed in the third quarter. The unemployment rate dipped in August to 7.3% from 7.4%. Economists were looking for employers to have increased headcount in August some 180,000.Read More...
The "Part Time-ification" of America: How We've Been Conned Again
By now, you've had a few days to digest the "wonderful" jobs numbers reported from Washington last Friday.
Well, don't get too excited about the economy. We've been conned again.
First off, 59% of all jobs created this year are in 3 sectors: Leisure/Hospitality, Retail Trade and Administrative/Waste Services. Wages in those sectors have fallen by 0.7%. These jobs pay an average of $15.80 per hour versus the $23.98 average hourly wage. Which means "jobs creation" just equals cheaper labor.
The American jobs participation rate is at 34-year lows and falling, as people give up and leave the workforce.
Underemployment is between 14% and 15% and rising.
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U.S. Jobs Report: How Unemployment is Really 14%
Employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, according to the U.S. jobs report released Friday, hiring at the slowest pace since June 2012.
The number was a huge miss. Analysts expected a gain of 200,000.
"We all over shot it," Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in U.S. President Barack Obama's first administration, said on CNBC. "This is a punch to the gut. I mean, this is not a good number."
Since the government's way of calculating unemployment is frighteningly inaccurate, even with such a small amount of jobs added the unemployment rate fell from 7.7% to 7.6%.
That's because the labor force participation rate slipped from 63.5% to 63.3% -- the lowest level since 1979.Read More...
Unemployment Down, But February Jobs Report Not All Rosy
Friday's jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a mixed bag.
The report had some positive news, as the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest rate since December 2008.
While the preliminary numbers for February show that 236,000 new jobs were created, exceeding analyst estimates by a wide margin, the figure for January was revised down from 157,000 to 119,000. However, the December number was revised up from 196,000 to 219,000. So for the three months of December 2012-February 2013, the economy has added a total of 574,000 jobs, well above expectations.
But despite the increase in the number of jobs, the main reason for the decline in the unemployment rate is that fewer people are participating in the labor market.
The participation rate fell by 0.1 percentage points to 63.5% in February as 130,000 people dropped out of the labor force. The employment-population ratio remained flat at 58.6%.Read More...
February Jobs Report: Here's What to Expect
Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to show a gain of 160,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.9%, when the Labor Department releases the February jobs report tomorrow (Friday) at 8:30 a.m.
Employment growth has averaged 177,000 per month over the last six months, and February is expected to fall short.
One reason is the 2% payroll tax cut that ended with 2012, leaving workers with less disposable income. Also, top income earners were slapped with a higher tax rate.
The full tax impact wasn't felt in January, but retailers and restaurants are beginning to feel the pain.Read More...
What the December U.S. Jobs Report Tells Us About 2013
The December U.S. jobs report released Friday showed the country's unemployment rate failed to improve in the last month of 2012, with the economy adding only 155,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate, originally reported as 7.7% for November, was revised upward for that month to 7.8%, and stayed the same for December.
The figure was roughly in line with expectations. Estimates for the number of jobs created in December ranged between 140,000 and 160,000.
Non-farm payroll hiring in December was most robust in health care, which created 45,000 jobs. Manufacturing, construction and hospitality also logged strong gains.
Oddly, employment dipped in retail during the holiday-sales month, which is usually the most active time for the sector.
The government also shed jobs, dropping 13,000.
After eliminating some 653,000 jobs from 2008 to 2011, state and local governments kept headcount mostly even in 2012. The decline in December could be attributed to the economic uncertainty hanging over Capitol Hill.
The Pentagon has warned that workers may have to be furloughed if the debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, set to be taken up in a few weeks, is dragged out past next month.
Also weighing on government hiring is the pack of problems that will challenge growth, like rising worker pension costs, steep spending cuts and reduced federal funding that will likely kick in during 2013.
As Moody's chief economists told USA Today, "The fiscal headwinds will be blowing hard in 2013."
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