Last updateThu, 15 Nov 2018 4pm


U.S. Added 134,000 Jobs in September

The unemployment rate declined to 3.7% in September, and employment increased by 134,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in September (+18,000), reflecting a gain in durable goods industries. Over the year, manufacturing has added 278,000 jobs, with about four-fifths of the gain in the durable goods component. 

Mid-America Economic Index Sinks for September

The September Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, sank for the month, but remained above growth neutral, and continues to point to positive economic growth for the next three to six months.

The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, fell to 57.5 from August’s strong 61.1. This is the 22nd straight month the index has remained above growth neutral 50.0. 

Durable Goods Orders Up 4.5% in August

New orders for manufactured durable goods in the U.S. in August increased $11.1 billion or 4.5% to $259.6 billion, the Department of Commerce announced. This increase, up two of the last three months, followed a 1.2% July decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.6%. 

Canada, U.S. Agree to Revise Free Trade Agreement

In a joint statement, representatives from Canada and the United States confirm that a new NAFTA or North American Free Trade Agreement was reached, and the deal will now be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

According to Reuters, “U.S. officials intend to sign the agreement with Canada and Mexico at the end of November, after which it would be submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval, a senior U.S. official said.” 

U.S. Economy Grew By 4.2% in Second Quarter

U.S. GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018, according to the most recent estimate released by the Department of Commerce. In the first quarter, GDP increased 2.2%. The change in GDP was unrevised from the last estimate, reflecting a downward revision to private inventory investment that was offset by upward revisions to state and local government spending, PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports and residential fixed investment. Imports were revised down slightly. 

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