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Beyond the Headlines and Into the Weeds

By June 21, 2015Newsletters

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve recently released the Jobs and Industrial Production reports, respectively, for May 2015. Regular news sources reported the headlines; meanwhile, we read all 48 pages of both reports and found some data points that we think our readers would find interesting:

Jobs Report:

Headline: “Unemployment is 5.5%, unchanged over the previous month”

  • Beyond the Headline (page 3): The number of persons unemployed for less than five weeks decreased by 311,000 to 2.4 million in May, compared to April!
  • Implication: This decrease of 311,000 represents a 13% month-over-month decline and shows that the newly unemployed are getting new jobs much quicker

Headline: “Unemployment decreased from 6.3% to 5.5% year-over-year from May 2014 to May 2015”

  • Beyond the Headline (page 16): The actual year-over-year increase in jobs was 2.9 million
  • Implication: State and Federal budgets should be trending positively
  • Beyond the Headline (page 3): The unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees decreased from 3.2% to 2.7% (or 22%) over the past year
  • Implication: If you are looking to hire college educated employees, the time is now! We recruit professionals for our clients and have seen many A-player candidates receive multiple offers

Headline: “Total nonfarm payroll employment added 280,000 jobs in May”

  • Beyond the Headline (page 17): Jobs added for the 55+ age group from May 2014 to May 2015 was approximately 1.1 million; 800,000 of these being men
  • Implication: Boomers, particularly males, are delaying retirement or re-entering the workforce to re-build their retirement coffers post-recession
  • Beyond the Headline (page 21): Mining, driven primarily by oil and natural gas, accounted for a loss of 18,000 jobs in May
  • Implication: If you add back those 18,000 jobs, the number of jobs added in May approaches 300,000

Industrial Production Report:

Headline: “Industrial production increased 1.4% from May 2014 to May 2015”

  • Beyond the Headline (page 7): Year-to-date in 2015, industrial production has been flat or declined over the prior month
  • Implication: While the direction of employment appears established, industrial production remains a question

Headline: “Oil prices have gone from $95/barrel in May 2014 to about $60/barrel in May 2015″

  • Beyond the Headline (page 8): Oil and gas well drilling production decreased 51.2% from May 2014 to May 2015, with services companies within this sector bearing the brunt of the pain
  • Implication: Oil and gas price production declines are driving substantial changes in industries that service this sector

See full newsletter here.

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