Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's The Economy Stupid: Jobs

Economic Event


Economic Survey

Actual Reported

Original Prior

Revised Prior

Challenger Job Cuts YoY






RBC Consumer Outlook Index






Initial Jobless Claims






Continuing Claims

MAY 25






Challenger Job Cuts

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell in May for the third month in a row as there was little sign so far that fiscal austerity in Washington was hampering the job market in a significant way, a report on Thursday showed.  Employers announced 36,398 job cuts last month, down 4.5 percent from 38,121 in April, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  May's layoffs were also significantly lower than what was seen a year ago, down 41.2 percent from last May's 61,887. May typically sees the smallest number of layoffs of the year, the report said.  For 2013 so far, employers have announced 219,560 cuts, compared to the 245,540 jobs that were cut in the first five months of 2012.


RBC Consumer Outlook

Consumers' confidence levels about the economy and labor markets have returned to prerecession heights, according to data released Thursday.  RBC (The Royal Bank of Canada) said its U.S. consumer outlook index rose to 51.8 in early June from 50.2 in May. The June reading is the highest since October 2007.  The RBC current conditions index rebounded to 42.4 after it fell to 40.8 in May from 42.5 in April.  The expectations index increased for the third consecutive month, jumping to 60.7 this month, the highest reading since September 2008, just before the financial markets collapsed.


Jobless Claims

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies are confident demand will be sustained in the face of federal budget cuts and tax increases. Jobless claims decreased by 11,000 to 346,000 in the week ended June 1 from a revised 357,000.  The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 345,000.  Continuing claims declined for the second time in three weeks.  Fewer dismissals put employers in a position to add to headcounts should sales pick up in the second half of the year.  A report tomorrow is projected to show limited improvement in the pace of hiring as federal budget cuts took hold and the economy began to cool.  There was nothing unusual in the data for last week and no states estimated claims, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were being released.   Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from claims of 335,000 to 360,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure from an initially reported 354,000.  The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figures, rose to 352,500 last week from 348,000.  Jobless claims, which track weekly firings, need to fall before job growth, measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report, can accelerate. Employers in the U.S. added 165,000 jobs for a second month in May, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey before tomorrow’s Labor Department report.


John Broussard

Assistant State Treasurer

Chief Investment Officer

State of Louisiana

Department of the Treasury


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