Key Economic Indicators – October 8, 2012

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 114 thousand to 133.500 million in September, following an increase of 142 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased 104 thousand in the month, while government employment increased 10 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 456 thousand to 12.088 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8%, from 8.1% in the previous month.
  • The average workweek of production and non-supervisory employees held steady at 33.7 hours, while average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents to $19.81.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 4 thousand to 367 thousand in the week ending September 29.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 1.0% in September, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 2.8%. Total sales were 14.879 million units in September, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 13.093 million in September of 2011.
  • New orders for manufactured goods (excluding semiconductors) decreased 5.2% in August, while shipments decreased 0.3%.
  • August construction spending decreased 0.6% to $837.1 billion, seasonally adjusted annual rate, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to all-time record low of 3.36% for the week ending October 4.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in September following three consecutive months of slight contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 40th consecutive month.
  • In September, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 33rd consecutive month.

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