Key Economic Indicators – July 6, 2020

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In June, employment in leisure and hospitality rose sharply. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 4.4 million in June, following an increase of 2.699 million in May and a decrease of 20.787 million in April. Private-sector payrolls increased by 4.767 million in June, while government employment increased by 33 thousand.
  • In June, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 2.1 million, accounting for about 40% of the gain in total nonfarm employment. Over the month, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 1.5 million, following a gain of the same magnitude in May. Despite these gains, employment in food services and drinking places is down by 3.1 million since February. In June, employment in retail trade rose by 740 thousand, after a gain of 372 thousand in May and losses totaling 2.4 million in March and April combined. Employment increased by 568 thousand in education and health services in June but is 1.8 million below February’s level. Health care employment increased by 358 thousand over the month, with gains in offices of dentists (190 thousand), offices of physicians (80 thousand), and offices of other health practitioners (48 thousand). In June, manufacturing employment rose by 356 thousand, but is down by 757 thousand since February.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by 35 cents to $29.37. The decreases in average hourly earnings largely reflect job gains among lower-paid workers. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 5.0%.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 11.1% in June, from 13.3% in May. The unemployment rate was 3.7% in June of 2019. Although unemployment fell in May and June, the jobless rate and the number of unemployed are up by 7.6 percentage points and 12.0 million, respectively, since February. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in June for adult men (10.2%), adult women (11.2%), teenagers (23.2%), Whites (10.1%), Blacks (15.4%), and Hispanics (14.5%). The jobless rates for Asians (13.8%) showed little change over the month.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 3.235 million to 17.750 million. The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 4.8 million in June to 10.6 million, following a decline of 2.7 million in May. The number of permanent job losers continued to rise, increasing by 588 thousand in June to 2.9 million.
  • The number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks decreased by a million to 2.8 million. The number of unemployed persons who were jobless 5 to 14 weeks decreased by 3.3 million to 11.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 227 thousand to 1.4 million in June.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.7 percentage point to 61.5% in June but is 1.9 percentage points below its February level.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 55 thousand to 1,427 thousand in the week ending June 27. The 4-week moving average was 1,503.75 thousand, a decrease of 117.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 20 was 19,290 thousand, an increase of 59 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 19,854 thousand, a decrease of 494.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 13.2% for the week ending June 20, unchanged from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.  This report now includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.”
  • Unemployment rates were higher in May than a year earlier in all 389 metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 357 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 32 areas.
  • In May, international trade deficit in goods and services was $54.6 billion, up $4.8 billion from April. May exports were $144.5 billion, $6.6 billion less than April exports. May imports were $199.1 billion, $1.8 billion less than April imports. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $22.3 billion, or 9.1%, from the same period in 2019. Exports decreased $148.3 billion or 14.0%. Imports decreased $170.6 billion or 13.1%.
  • Construction spending during May 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,356.4 billion, 2.1% below the revised April estimate. The May figure is 0.3% above the May 2019 estimate. During the first five months of this year, construction spending amounted to $543.2 billion, 5.7% above the $513.7 billion for the same period in 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates hit all-time-record low heading into holiday weekend. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.07% for the week ending July 2, down from 3.13% from last week. This was the lowest rate in the survey’s history dating back to 1971. A year-ago, the 30-year rate was 3.75%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.56%, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.59%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year rate averaged 3.18%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 26, 2020.
  • The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for June was 78.1, up from 72.3 in May. The index was 98.2 in June of 2019. The current economic conditions component was 87.1 in June, compared with 82.3 in May. The index of consumer expectations increased to 72.3 in June, from 65.9 in May.
  • There were over 10,726,802 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 516,786 deaths, and 5,513,009 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 7/2/2020, 10:00 EST). In the United States, there were 2,686,927 confirmed cases, 128,064 deaths, and 729,994 thousand recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.


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