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LifeWork Search Quarterly Economic Analysis, 2015 Q1

Q1 Economic Insights

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers for Q1 of 2015 continue to show signs of positive growth. 

January's labor situation for the U.S. was more than just a single piece of good news, according to Bloomberg Business. The source said it marks a sea change in the labor market in which the middle class and working class are finally starting to get ahead. The unemployment rate increased slightly, but gains were still made across a variety of industries. Overall, economists noted that January's numbers show impressive economic strength.

February remained positive as the nation continued to move toward a strong employment situation, according to the BLS.  Not only did the overall employment rate drop, but positions were added to a variety of sectors. 

In March, the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5%, and while we did see a good amount of jobs added in January and February (257,000 and 295,000 respectively), March underwhelmed with only adding 126,000 jobs.  However, while the unemployment rate remained stable for the month, and job growth was lower than expected, the U.S. continued to add jobs across a variety of sectors and wages continue to be on the rise.  Industry experts acknowledge that although March's report fell flat in the face of economists' predictions, it is not worried that the country's economy is declining, and on a whole, it was an encouraging start to 2015.


Unemployement Rate

 

 

Jobs Added


 

Below is a summary of the BLS numbers for the Retail, Manufacturing, and Transportation / Warehousing industries for Q1 of 2015.  We have also highlighted the ISM (Institute of Supply Management) numbers.  According to the ISM’s report, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 27th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 70th consecutive month.








Retail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct-14

Nov-14

Dec-14

Jan-15

Feb-15

Mar-15

Employment

15.44M

15.50M

15.51M

15.53M

15.56M

15.59M

Unemployment

5.2%

5.3%

5.5%

6.7%

6.1%

6.4%

Job Openings

540,000

458,000

411,000

458,000

463,000

-















Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct-14

Nov-14

Dec-14

Jan-15

Feb-15

Mar-15

Employment

12.19M

12.22M

12.23M

12.31M

12.32M

12.32M

Unemployment

4.3%

4.2%

3.9%

5.2%

5.2%

4.8%

Job Openings

289,000

289,000

275,000

317,000

297,000

-















Transportation & Warehousing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct-14

Nov-14

Dec-14

Jan-15

Feb-15

Mar-15

Employment

4.66M

4.68M

4.68M

4.73M

4.74M

4.74M

Unemployment

5.3%

5.5%

4.6%

5.8%

5.2%

4.4%















Unemployment by Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct-14

Nov-14

Dec-14

Jan-15

Feb-15

Mar-15

Less than high school

7.9%

8.5%

8.6%

8.5%

8.4%

8.6%

High school graduate

5.7%

5.6%

5.3%

5.4%

5.4%

5.3%

Some college

4.9%

4.9%

4.9%

5.2%

5.1%

4.8%

Bachelor's degree & higher

3.0%

3.2%

2.9%

2.8%

2.7%

2.5%








 

MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE
MARCH 2015



Index

Series
Index
Mar

Series
Index
Feb

Percentage
Point
Change



Direction

Rate
of
Change


Trend*
(Months)

PMI®

51.5

52.9

-1.4

Growing

Slower

27

New Orders

51.8

52.5

-0.7

Growing

Slower

28

Production

53.8

53.7

+0.1

Growing

Faster

31

Employment

50.0

51.4

-1.4

Unchanged

From Growing

1

Supplier Deliveries

50.5

54.3

-3.8

Slowing

Slower

22

Inventories

51.5

52.5

-1.0

Growing

Slower

3

Customers' Inventories

45.5

46.5

-1.0

Too Low

Faster

4

Prices

39.0

35.0

+4.0

Decreasing

Slower

5

Backlog of Orders

49.5

51.5

-2.0

Contracting

From Growing

1

Exports

47.5

48.5

-1.0

Contracting

Faster

3

Imports

52.5

54.0

-1.5

Growing

Slower

26

OVERALL ECONOMY

Growing

Slower

70

Manufacturing Sector

Growing

Slower

27

Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for New Orders, Production, Employment and Supplier Deliveries indexes.

*Number of months moving in current direction.

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