Strong productivity may be good for an economy’s long-term growth prospects. But it’s not always great for workers in the near-run, since it literally means firms are squeezing more out of each employee. In reality, rapid productivity growth can make it harder for workers to get new jobs or bargain for raises.
After a string of very weak figures in the second quarter, the July employment figures prompted a collective sigh of relief that the U.S. economy was at least not sinking into recession. That doesn’t mean the news was particularly comforting. U.S. employers created a net 163,000 new jobs last month, far above the Reuters poll consensus of 100,000. Still, the jobless rate rose to 8.3 percent.
U.S. non-farm payrolls have come in below the Reuters Poll consensus for the past four months, the longest streak since an eight-month period in 2008-09 when the U.S. was in the depths of recession and, at one point, losing more than half a million jobs a month.
The “big wildcard” in making July payroll projections is the size of the swing in public school teachers and other school workers.
(Updates with background on Fiscal Policy Institute, details on city bonds)
New York City’s Hudson Yards project – a $12 billion transformative development slated for Manhattan’s West Side – embodies several aspects of the Bloomberg administration’s strategies that infuriate critics while delighting boosters.
Ellen Freilich contributed to this post
The Fed did the twist. Will it shout as well? There has been some debate among economists about whether the U.S. central bank might launch a third round of outright bond buys or QE3 given that it just prolonged Operation Twist.
By Sarmista Sen and Sumanta Dey
Economists predicting jobs growth in the United States, or rather the lack of it, scored an unfortunate hat-trick on Friday – vastly overestimating the rise in payrolls for three consecutive months.
Asian Americans have the highest rate of long-term joblessness of any ethnicity in the United States, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington.
Weekly data on applications for unemployment benefits have gained renewed importance since a weak March payrolls number left economists wondering whether a tentative labor market recovery was about to cave again. The last two weeks’ readings were just soft enough to leave investors thinking the country’s unemployment crisis may not be healing very quickly.