Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pending Home Sales: December 2016

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for December showing an improvement in sales activity with the seasonally adjusted national index rising 1.6% from November to stand 0.3% above the level seen in December 2015.

The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).

Friday, January 06, 2017

Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment December 2016

Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in December, net non-farm payrolls increased by 156,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 144,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment increased to 4.7% over the same period.

Net private sector jobs increased 0.12% since last month climbing 1.63% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 6.13% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession.

Employment Situation: Unemployment Duration December 2016

Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed went flat in December.

Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 1.831 million or 24.2% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment increased to 10.3 weeks and the average stay on unemployment declined to 26.0 weeks.

Employment Situation: Total Unemployment December 2016

Today's Employment Situation report showed that in December “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers decreased to 9.2% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate increased to 4.7%.

The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be “underutilized” labor.

The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.

To calculate the “total” rate of unemployment we would simply use this larger group rather than the smaller and more restrictive “unemployed” group used in the traditional unemployment rate calculation.