Last updateFri, 23 Jun 2017 4pm


U.S. Adds 98,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Now 4.5%

The unemployment rate declined from 4.7% to 4.5% in March, the lowest it’s been since May 2007, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by a lower than anticipated 98,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

Employment increased in professional and business services and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs. Employment in manufacturing showed little or no change over the month. 

Construction Spending in February Hits 11-Year High

Construction spending during February 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,192.8 billion, 0.8% above the revised January estimate of $1,183.8 billion, the Commerce Department reports. The February figure is 3.0% above the February 2016 estimate of $1,157.7 billion. During the first 2 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $163.3 billion, 3.0% above the $158.5 billion for the same period in 2016. 

More Than 12 STEM Jobs Posted for Every Available STEM Worker

A New American Economy (NAE) research brief finds that between 2010 and 2016, U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields face persistent and dramatic worker shortages. NAE compared the number of online STEM job postings from 2010 to 2016 to the number of unemployed STEM workers available to fill them. The study shows that in 2016, there were more than a dozen STEM jobs posted online for every available, trained STEM worker. In 2015, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska had between 45 and 88 STEM jobs posted online for every one unemployed eligible worker. 

Mid-America Manufacturing Continued to Rebound in March

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator for a nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, dipped to a still healthy level for March, according the latest survey results.

The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, slipped to 60.1 from February’s strong 60.5. This is the fourth straight month the index has advanced above growth neutral.

“The overall index over the past several months indicates a healthy regional manufacturing economy, and points to positive growth for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing through the third quarter of this year,” said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group. 

ISM: Manufacturing Expands for Seventh Consecutive Month

According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), manufacturing expanded in March as the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered 57.2%, a decrease of 0.5% from the February reading of 57.7%, indicating growth in manufacturing for the seventh consecutive month. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries 17 reported growth in March, led by electrical equipment, appliances & components and printing & related support activities. 

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