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My Note –

So, to get my mind off other things I can’t really fix, I’m looking up some things to better understand the macroeconomic situation in the US and to learn more about how decisions are made concerning economic reports, analysis and experts’ explanations of what is happening now. The other day, there was a news report which included a comment about the “Beige Book of Economic Numbers” which I wrote down on a 3×5 card to look up later. I also watched a great talk on CSPAN BookTV that was re-broadcast last night about the book, “Dirty Rotten Strategies,” with the author University of Southern California, Professor Emeritus, Ian Mitroff. Some of the notes I took from that talk gave very interesting insight to the ways that governments and large organizations define the problems, the assumptions they make, and the methods of thinking they use to find or choose solutions. It was very, very interesting to consider what they don’t do actually – and according to Professor Mitroff, the explanations for that, range from solving the wrong problem, solving only part of the problem, choosing the wrong part of the problem to solve, making unchallenged assumptions about the problem and about the stakeholders that will be impacted by the problem or by the enacted solutions, along with refusing to think systemically about the entire problem in an integrated, complete manner. I’m still thinking about that as I go into the economics information today.

First, after looking up the information online source of Professor Mitroff’s talk on CSPAN, I next made a google search using the term, “Beige Book of Economic Numbers.”

– cricketdiane

***

Here are those results –

By Ryan Barnes

Release Date: Two Wednesdays before every Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, 8 times per year
Release Time: 2:15pm Eastern Standard Time
Coverage: Anecdotal and discussion-based summaries of regional economic activity
Released By: Federal Reserve Board; National summary authored by rotating Fed district
Latest Release: http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/2007/

Background
Made public in 1983, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, or Beige Book, as it is known, has a different style and tone than many other indicators. Rather than being filled with raw data, the Beige Book takes a more conversational approach. The book has 13 sections in total; 12 regional reports from each of the member Fed district banks, preceded by one national summary drawn from the individual reports that follow it. This is the first chance investors have to see how the Fed draws logical and intuitive conclusions from the raw data presented in other indicator releases.

The Beige Book is published eight times per year, just before each of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. While it is used by committee members during the meeting itself, it does not carry more clout than other data values and indicators. There is a lot of real-time data that the Fed has at its disposal and, unfortunately, notes from the FOMC meetings themselves are currently not public information.

The Beige Book aims to give to give a broad overview of the economy, bringing many variables and indicators into the mix. Discussion will be about things such as labor markets, wage and price pressures, retail and ecommerce activity and manufacturing output. Investors can see comments that are forward-looking; the Beige Book will contain comments that look to predict trends and anticipate changes over the next few months or quarters.

What it Means for Investors
The Beige Book by itself is not likely to have a big effect on the markets in the short term, mainly because no new data series is presented here.

Investors and Fed watchers look to the Beige Book to gain insight into the next FOMC meeting. Is there language that shows fear about inflation? Do the reports suggest that the economy needs a financial boost to continue growing? This is the critical information that will be analyzed in the Beige Book.

To read the Beige Book effectively, one must become accustomed to “Fed speak”, a special verbiage of measured remarks intentionally designed to say a little without ever saying a lot. The last thing the Fed wants to do with its words is corner itself into a pre-supposed policy decision prior to the next FOMC meeting. Investors won’t ever see a definitive statement about the Fed going one way or the other with monetary policy, but there may be valuable clues in the Beige Book – at least for the trained eye. (For related reading, see Formulating Monetary Policy.)

The Fed directors and their staffs will use their very long proverbial arms to obtain an economic pulse that can’t be found in any other indicator’s report. They will interview business leaders, bank presidents, members of other Fed boards and hundreds of other informal networks before writing the reports that will be compiled in the Beige Book.

Investors who hold investments that conduct business in specific regions of the country may find valuable information about how those areas are performing as a whole. For instance, a stockholder in a regional bank operating in the Southeastern U.S. would want to know what the Atlanta Fed Bank says about the health of that region.

Occasionally, the Beige Book will give evidence that may contradict what a previous indicator has presented; the Employment Report may suggest that there is slack in the labor market, while Beige Book reports may give anecdotal evidence that wage pressures are forming, or that certain specific labor markets are tight. (For more on this topic, read Surveying The Employment Report.)

On rare occasions, the Beige Book will be released at a time when information is badly needed in the markets; shock events like the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or a stock market crash can effectively wipe the data slate clean, and investors will count on the Fed to help describe the relative state of affairs during these tumultuous times.

Strengths:

  • Contains forward-looking comments – the Fed districts aim to draw relative conclusions in the Beige Book, not just regurgitate facts already presented
  • Gives investors a “man on the street” perspective of economic health by taking first-hand accounts from business owners, economist, and the like
  • Aims to put pieces from different reports together into an explanatory whole, giving qualitative measurements instead of quantitative figures
  • It’s the only indicator that gives reports by geographic region, rather than just by industry group or sector.
  • Most regions will report on the state of the service industries, an area not well covered in other indicator reports, although it is a large component of real gross domestic product.

Weaknesses:

  • Rarely is any new statistical data presented, only anecdotal reports
  • Filled with measured “Fed-speak”
  • Specific industry conclusions are hard to draw from the report.
  • Each Fed district can use its discretion on what to include in its report; one region may discuss manufacturing activity while others don’t report on the topic.
  • Private forecasts compiled by economists and analysts tend to closely match what is reported in the Beige Book, so estimates rarely change following the release.

The Closing Line
The Beige Book is not likely to send shock waves through the market on its release, but it provides an original point of view about economic activity and is a marked departure from the dry raw data releases of the other indicators. It also gives investors insight into how the Fed approaches its monetary policy decisions and responsibilities.

Next: Economic Indicators: Business Outlook Survey

Table of Contents
1) Economic Indicators: Overview
2) Economic Indicators: Beige Book
3) Economic Indicators: Business Outlook Survey
4) Economic Indicators: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
5) Economic Indicators: Consumer Credit Report
6) Economic Indicators: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
7) Economic Indicators: Durable Goods Report
8) Economic Indicators: Employee Cost Index (ECI)
9) Economic Indicators: Employee Situation Report
10) Economic Indicators: Existing Home Sales
11) Economic Indicators: Factory Orders Report
12) Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
13) Economic Indicators: Housing Starts
14) Economic Indicators: Industrial Production
15) Economic Indicators: Jobless Claims Report
16) Economic Indicators: Money Supply
17) Economic Indicators: Mutual Fund Flows
18) Economic Indicators: Non-Manufacturing Report
19) Economic Indicators: Personal Income and Outlays
20) Economic Indicators: Producer Price Index (PPI)
21) Economic Indicators: Productivity Report
22) Economic Indicators: Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
23) Economic Indicators: Retail Sales Report
24) Economic Indicators:Trade Balance Report
25) Economic Indicators: Wholesale Trade Report
Printer friendly version (PDF format)

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Filed Under: 401K, Retirement

http://www.investopedia.com/university/releases/beigebook.asp

**

The authors criticize all institutions for either solving the wrong problem unintentionally, or worse, intentionally tackling the right problem in the wrong way.  They claim government is particularly prone to doing both.  The event is at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/292366-1

(Re-broadcast yesterday on CSPAN BookTV, 03-06-10)

Program ID

292366-1

Category

Public Affairs Event

Format

Forum

Location

San Francisco, CA, United States

Date Aired

Mar 7, 2010

// Airing Details

Show

Authors – Professor Mitroff was speaking at this event –

Mitroff, Ian I.

Founder Mitroff Crisis Management

Silvers, Abraham

Statistician

**

http://www.frbsf.org/economics/

Can Structural Models of Default Explain the Credit Spread Puzzle? • FRBSF Economic Letter 2010-06

Structural models of default are widely used to analyze corporate bond spreads, but have generally been unable to explain why risk premiums are as high as they are. This credit spread puzzle can be addressed by taking into account such factors as the variability of the level of risk premiums and the likelihood of default over the course of the economic cycle. Models that incorporate such variations over time are more successful at generating spreads consistent with historical observations.

Goldstein • February 22, 2010

District Trends

Beige Book • March 3, 2010

Economic activity appeared to increase modestly. Sales of retail items and services stayed slow but showed some improvement, and upward pressures on prices and wages remained quite limited.

» Summary12th DistrictFull report

12L Economic Trends • January 2010

ETC: Economic Trends & Conditions • February 2010

BS&R’s 12th District Banking Profile • Q2 2009

(from)

http://www.frbsf.org/economics/

**

Housing: Price-to-Rent Ratio • taken from CalculatedRisk Blog • February 23

In October 2004, Fed economist John Krainer and researcher Chishen Wei wrote a Fed letter on price to rent ratios: House Prices and Fundamental Value. Kainer and Wei presented a price-to-rent ratio using the OFHEO house price index and the Owners’ Equivalent Rent (OER) from the BLS.

» Read more in House Prices and Fundamental Value
FRBSF Economic Letter 2004-27 • Krainer

Working Papers

» More Working Papers

“Should the Central Bank Be Concerned About Housing Prices?” • Working paper 2010-05

Housing is an important component of the consumption basket. Since both rental prices and goods prices are sticky, the literature suggests that optimal monetary policy should stabilize both types of prices, with the optimal weight on rental inflation proportional to the housing expenditure share. In a two-sector DSGE model with sticky rental prices and goods prices, however, we find that the optimal weight on rental inflation in the Taylor rule is small—much smaller than that implied by the housing expenditure share.

Jeske • Liu • February 2010

Upcoming Seminars

Macro Seminar
Susanto Basu • Boston College • John Fernald • March 3

+ Expand

Finance Seminar
Christopher James • University of Florida • March 4

Macro Seminar
Ping Wang • Washington University St. Louis • March 8

Macro Brown Bag
Milton Marquis • Florida State University • Bharat Trehan • March 9

Macro Seminar
Markus Brunnermeier • Princeton University • Eric Swanson • March 10

Upcoming Conferences

» More Conferences

Financial Market Imperfections and Macroeconomics • March 5, 2010

2010 Pacific Basin Research Conference • September 30-October 1, 2010 • Call for papers

(from)

http://www.frbsf.org/economics/

***

  • Data Dive
  • GDP
  • Inflation
  • Employment
  • Unemployment

*Chart suggested by David Lang.

Source: BEA, as of 2009 Q4.

Source: BEA, as of January 2010.

Source: BLS, as of February 2010.

Source: BLS, as of February 2010.

FedViews

(from)

http://www.frbsf.org/economics/

***

My Note – As I was looking at the numbers for nonfarm employment on their little chart, it didn’t match the numbers on the first chart about unemployment – as with any question, I took the place where they found the numbers and looked it up –

– cricketdiane

***

Skip to Content

DOL Banner

Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National)

// FONT SIZE:Minus  Font SizePlus  Font Size

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Survey

Series Id:     CES0000000001
Seasonally Adjusted
Super Sector:  Total nonfarm
Industry:      Total nonfarm
NAICS Code:    -
Data Type:     ALL EMPLOYEES, THOUSANDS
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 130781 130902 131374 131660 131885 131839 132002 132005 132127 132116 132347 132485
2001 132469 132530 132500 132219 132175 132047 131922 131762 131518 131193 130901 130723
2002 130591 130444 130420 130335 130328 130373 130276 130260 130205 130331 130339 130183
2003 130266 130108 129896 129847 129841 129839 129864 129822 129925 130128 130146 130270
2004 130420 130463 130801 131051 131361 131442 131489 131610 131770 132121 132185 132317
2005 132453 132693 132835 133195 133364 133610 133979 134174 134237 134321 134655 134813
2006 135075 135401 135705 135879 135910 135979 136211 136352 136452 136495 136696 136873
2007 137067 137171 137410 137502 137651 137706 137686 137615 137667 137753 137881 137951
2008 137941 137891 137858 137709 137478 137285 137075 136741 136283 135729 135001 134328
2009 133549 132823 132070 131542(C) 131155(C) 130640(C) 130294(C) 130082 129857 129633 129697 129588
2010 129562(P) 129526(P)
C : corrected
P : preliminary

For more information, see the latest:

For program description, technical notes, frequently askedquestions, and more detailed data, see:

<!– –>

(from -)

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?request_action=wh&graph_name=CE_cesbref1

***

This is the number that I didn’t understand –

129526(P) for nonfarm employment – February 2010

(and this one -)

137951 for nonfarm employment – December 2007

(numbers are in thousands)

My Note –

These numbers give 8, 425, 000 jobs in nonfarm employment gone. That is not a number I’ve heard anywhere else.

And, from January to February 2010,

129697 – November 2009

129588 – December 2009

129562(P) – January 2010 (guesstimated)

129526(P) – February 2010 (guesstimated)

Now, unless my math skills are really, really off – that means jobs are continuing to disappear . . .

Why do the economic experts, business news anchors, business experts and Federal Reserve members say that everything is getting better? Not only do the same number of jobs still not exist, we are still losing jobs people did have available. If 70% of our economy is based on consumers making purchases, how are they going to do that – how are they going to support buying things without jobs?

This is what the Federal Reserve, Congressional and Business Leaders are reading that are indicating what they believe is the truth – and I don’t see it –

– cricketdiane

***

Summary

Skip to content

Summary
Districts
Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Cleveland
Richmond
Atlanta
Chicago
St. Louis
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Dallas
San Francisco
Full report


Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and based on information collected on or before February 22, 2010. This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials. Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic conditions continued to expand since the last report, although severe snowstorms in early February held back activity in several Districts. Nine Districts reported that economic activity improved, but in most cases the increases were modest. Overall conditions were described as mixed in the Atlanta and St. Louis Districts, though St. Louis noted further signs of improvement in some areas. Richmond reported that economic activity slackened or remained soft across most sectors, due importantly to especially severe February weather in that region.

Consumer spending improved slightly in many Districts since the last survey, but severe snowstorms in early February limited activity in some Districts. Tourist activity was reported as increased or mixed, with some improvement in hotel occupancies. The demand for services was generally positive across Districts, most notably for health-care and information technology firms. Of the five Districts reporting on transportation, three characterized activity as improved over the previous survey. Manufacturing activity strengthened in most regions, particularly in the high-tech equipment, automobile, and metal industries. Residential real estate markets improved in a number of Districts, although several Districts noted that activity softened or remained weak partly due to extreme winter weather. Most Districts characterized commercial real estate and construction activity as weak or having declined further, but some Districts noted slight stabilization and a few signs of modest improvement. Loan demand remained weak, and lending standards remained tight across the country. Harsh weather continued to negatively affect agricultural activity, although some Districts reported favorable crop conditions. Districts reporting on energy activity said it continued to strengthen, particularly drilling for natural gas.

Price pressures were mostly limited, with the exception of some increases in raw materials prices. Even with input costs rising, selling prices remained stable due to competitive pressures and limited pricing power. Although some Districts reported an uptick in hiring or a slowdown in layoffs, labor markets generally remained soft throughout the nation, which resulted in minimal wage pressures.

Consumer Spending and Tourism
Consumer spending showed signs of improvement in many Districts since the last report but was hampered in several regions by severe weather conditions in early February. Retail sales improved in the Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, and New York said sales were well above year-ago levels in January and met expectations in February despite inclement weather. Philadelphia also reported that sales were moving up slowly until snowstorms hit in February. Boston and Cleveland characterized sales as mixed but slightly higher overall than year ago levels. Sales were lower than expected in the Atlanta and Kansas City Districts and were down from year-ago levels in the St. Louis District. Several Districts reported that sales were strongest for lower-priced items, while sales of luxury and big ticket items remained sluggish. However, San Francisco noted scattered reports of increased discretionary spending, and Cleveland said some retailers noted a broader, if still slight, increase in demand across a variety of products. Inventories were being managed carefully and held at fairly low levels in most Districts, but Chicago said rising sales were leading retailers to begin rebuilding inventories from low levels.

Auto sales were generally reported as flat or down, with a few Districts again noting that some of the sluggishness was likely due to poor weather conditions. New York, Cleveland, and San Francisco all noted some softening in new auto sales, though New York cited brisk sales of used vehicles. Chicago and Kansas City also reported declining auto sales, while Dallas noted some seasonal softness and Atlanta said sales remained weak. Some Districts reported modest improvement in auto credit conditions. Cleveland noted that many consumers remain reliant on manufacturers’ incentives, and auto dealers in the Chicago District blamed part of their recent sales decline on reduced factory incentives.

Districts reporting on tourism said that activity was either rising or mixed since the last survey period. Ski resorts in the Richmond and Kansas City Districts reported at least modest rebounds in activity from year-ago levels, while Minneapolis characterized skier visits to a Montana resort as flat. New York said hotel occupancies in Manhattan were up considerably from a year ago in January and Broadway theatre activity was robust before falling off due to weather in February. Atlanta also reported rising tourism activity related to several successful major sporting events and a well-attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans. San Francisco noted increases in visitors to Hawaii and Las Vegas and said hotel occupancies stabilized in some other areas.

Nonfinancial Services
Nonfinancial services activity was reported as steady or improved by the majority of Districts. Boston, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and San Francisco reported generally solid demand in health-care services, although Minneapolis noted continued weakness in elective procedures. New York indicated that a growing number of service firms planned to increase capital spending in the months ahead, but investment expectations diminished among high-tech companies in the Kansas City District. Richmond reported that service revenues fell due to the record snowstorms, but a few contacts saw a slight pickup in demand, particularly architectural firms, hospitals, and financial service professionals.

In transportation services, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Kansas City reported an improvement in activity since the last survey, while Dallas said activity was mixed and St. Louis noted large job cuts in the industry. Regional rail loadings were above year-ago levels in the Atlanta District, especially for autos, chemicals, metals, and some construction-related equipment. Intermodal firms in the Dallas District reported no change in cargo volumes, with a rise in exports being offset by a decline in imports. Although shipping volumes increased, Cleveland noted that margins remained depressed due to over-capacity issues, limiting investment in new trucks.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing activity increased further in most Districts, although Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco characterized overall activity as flat or mixed. Philadelphia reported widespread production increases across most industries, and manufacturers in the Cleveland District reported a general rise in capacity utilization. Many Districts reported strong production in metals, and the Boston, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts noted strength in high-tech equipment, particularly semiconductors. Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, and Dallas noted solid improvements in auto-related manufacturing. A consumer goods company in the Boston District said European sales were at healthier levels. Contacts in the Chicago District reported strong growth in Asian exports but remained concerned about China’s underlying economic strength. Dallas reported that exports for natural-gas based products remained strong, but weak demand for refined products has trimmed margins and cut capacity utilization further. Construction-related activity remained weak in the Chicago and Dallas Districts, and new orders for commercial aircraft and parts were sluggish in the San Francisco District. Philadelphia and Richmond noted productions delays due to the winter snowstorms in February, but some factories were able to make up the losses with longer work hours and extended shifts. Several manufacturers in the Philadelphia District said production gains could be limited due to continued tightening in credit markets and adverse developments in taxes and regulations. Plant managers in a few Districts reported that a large number of customers were simply restocking inventories, leading to concerns about the sustainability of the increase. However, contacts in most Districts remained optimistic for future months, with several reports of planned increases in capital spending.

Real Estate and Construction
Residential real estate markets improved in a number of Districts, remained weak or softened further in the New York, Atlanta, and Chicago Districts, was little changed in the San Francisco District, and characterized as mixed in the St. Louis District. Richmond also reported overall housing activity as mixed, but one contact noted that absent the harsh weather, market conditions might have improved. Adverse weather conditions also hampered home sales and construction in the New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta Districts. Most Districts attributed stronger home sales to the home-buyer tax credit, with several contacts apprehensive about future sales once the credit expires on April 30. Philadelphia, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Dallas reported that sales were strongest for low-priced and starter homes, while Dallas cited financing difficulties for high-end homes. Home construction was down or stagnant in most Districts, with the exception of the Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts. Atlanta said the most pronounced weakness was among Georgia homebuilders, and San Francisco attributed weak construction activity to elevated home inventory levels. Home prices mostly remained flat or declined slightly, but signs of improvement were noted in the Boston and San Francisco Districts. A real estate agent in a relatively upscale area of the New York District said prices have continued to drift downward but that short sales were relatively rare and most transactions were still above the mortgage balance.

Commercial real estate conditions remained weak or declined further in most Districts, although some Districts noted slight stabilization or modest signs of improvement. Commercial real estate activity weakened in the Richmond, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, though Dallas noted that leasing fell at a slower rate and San Francisco cited increased leasing in some segments. Boston and Philadelphia said conditions remain weak, but both noted some improvement in sales of commercial space. New York reported softer activity in the New York City area but some steadying in vacancies and rents elsewhere, while St. Louis said activity remained weak throughout the District. Several Districts also noted that many tenants were pushing for, and in some cases receiving, concessions on rents. All Districts reporting on commercial construction said that activity remained weak or slow, except for some moderate boost from federal stimulus projects and other public construction. Credit for commercial development and transactions was still very difficult to obtain in several Districts, though San Francisco noted a slight improvement in financing availability.

Banking and Finance
Loan demand remained weak across the country. New York, Cleveland, and Kansas City reported decreased demand for most types of loans. Other Districts said loan demand was unchanged but soft. Richmond and Chicago noted that the weak economic outlook was holding back loan demand, and San Francisco said caution about hiring and spending plans was keeping businesses from seeking credit. However, Philadelphia and Richmond reported banks were receiving more inquiries from businesses about loans, and Dallas said contacts were hopeful that loan demand would pick up by the end of the year.

Most Districts indicated that banks remained cautious about lending. New York, St. Louis, and Kansas City reported somewhat tighter credit standards on commercial real estate loans, and New York noted tighter standards for commercial and industrial loans. In other Districts, credit standards were little changed but remained tight. Atlanta reported that banks had ample liquidity but were reluctant to reduce cash reserves. Chicago said a leveling in asset quality was causing large banks to become more interested in lending to prime borrowers, but strained balance sheets were holding back lending by mid-size banks. In the Dallas District, smaller banks reported that regulatory requirements were limiting their ability to expand real estate lending. Loan quality remained a concern but showed signs of stabilizing in some Districts. New York, Dallas, and San Francisco cited further declines in loan quality. In addition, banks in the Philadelphia and Kansas City Districts were reported to be slightly less pessimistic about future loan quality than in the previous survey.

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Harsh winter weather continued to dampen overall agricultural activity, although crop conditions were still generally favorable in most Districts. Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas reported that livestock were stressed by severe weather and that producers provided supplemental feed due to poor grazing conditions. Atlanta commented that cold temperatures caused minor freeze damage to vegetable and citrus crops. Despite below-average temperatures, Kansas City reported the winter wheat crop was in generally good condition. Dallas and San Francisco said that heavy rains and snowfall improved soil moisture for this year’s crop production, though some contacts were concerned that spring planting could be delayed if fields remain too wet. Crop prices edged down following the bumper fall harvest, but Chicago noted that high-quality grain was selling at a premium, due in part to strong export demand. Hog and cattle prices strengthened and dairy prices were flat. Kansas City noted stronger farm incomes from crop production, while agricultural lenders in the Minneapolis District expected farm income and spending to decrease.

Energy activity generally strengthened since the last survey period. Kansas City and Dallas reported increased drilling activity, especially for natural gas, and Cleveland noted increased natural gas-related investment. However, producers in the Kansas City District were concerned that a boost in supply from shale gas production could lower natural gas prices later in the year. Minneapolis reported that oil exploration expanded in February, while oil production was stable in the Atlanta and San Francisco Districts. Coal production in the Cleveland and Kansas City Districts remained below year-ago levels. Minneapolis reported brisk activity in metal mining and continued energy construction.

Employment, Wages, and Prices
The pace of layoffs slowed in most Districts, but hiring plans still remained generally soft. New York cited a slowdown in layoffs at a securities firm and noted a pickup in hiring in what was still characterized as an exceptionally weak legal industry. Staffing firms in the Boston District also saw a strengthening in demand, particularly from the financial and manufacturing sectors. Several manufacturing and construction firms in the Cleveland District began recalling workers, and temporary staffing accelerated in the Richmond, Atlanta, and Chicago Districts. However, Chicago said demand for permanent workers was low, and a manufacturing contact in the Richmond District held back employment due to productivity improvements. Layoffs were also reported at several retail and manufacturing firms in the Dallas District, and Minneapolis said companies in the medical insurance and financial services industries reduced employment. Wage pressures were minimal, but Boston and Cleveland noted a lift in salary freezes and Richmond said wages rose at service and retail businesses.

The majority of Districts reported limited price pressures, although several noted rising input costs due to higher commodities prices. Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Dallas noted an increase in metals prices, particularly steel, and Chicago and Kansas City said the upward pressure on some raw materials prices was likely to continue. Lumber prices rose in the Cleveland and Richmond Districts due in large part to weather-related supply issues. On the other hand, San Francisco reported commodity prices were stable or down, with declines in natural gas, copper, and aluminum prices. Some contacts in the Boston District said customers sought fewer price concessions from vendors in order to better ensure reliable deliveries. But nearly all Districts reported limited pricing power, with many firms unable to increase selling prices due to competitive pressure. Retail prices were stable in most Districts, although San Francisco noted heavy discounting. Districts generally expected stable prices overall heading forward.


http://federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2010/20100303/default.htm

***

“Layoffs were also reported at several retail and manufacturing firms in the Dallas District, and Minneapolis said companies in the medical insurance and financial services industries reduced employment.”

(from above report)

My Note –

What is the total number of people who would be employed if everyone in the US that want to be, need to be and can be employed had jobs? Hmmm –

Where would I find that?

And, how are these decision-makers and economic experts making an analysis that says everything is getting all better? What are they using to define that?

– cricketdiane

***

National Population Projections

JENNIFER CHEESEMAN DAY

Projections illustrate possible courses of population growth.

The Census Bureau’s latest population projections illustrate the future size and composition of the United States, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin, under three assumptions about fertility, life expectancy, and net immigration:

Fertility in the middle series was assumed to remain almost constant, near the current fertility level of about 2.1 births per woman. For the low and high assumptions, levels of 1.9 and 2.6 births per woman were used, respectively.

Life expectancy is projected in the middle series to increase from 76.0 years in 1993 to 82.6 years in 2050. In 2050, life expectancy in the low assumption would be 75.3 years and in the high assumption would be 87.5 years.

Net immigration for the middle series remains constant at 880,000 per year. A wide range between the high (1,370,000) and low (350,000) net immigration figures reflects uncertainty concerning the future flow of immigrants.

The U.S. population is growing larger.

Based on the middle-series projections, the Nation’s population is projected to increase to 392 million by 2050 — more than a 50 percent increase from the 1990 population size. During the 1990’s, the population is projected to grow by 27 million, a 10.8 percent increase. This assumes that fertility, mortality, and net immigration would continue to reflect recent trends. Only during the 1950’s were more people added to the Nation’s population than are projected to be added during the 1990’s. Using the lowest assumptions, the population would grow slowly, peak at 293 million by 2030, then gradually decline. Conversely, the highest series projects the population to increase quite steadily over the next several decades, more than doubling its 1990 size by the middle of the next century.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/natproj.html

**

Complete List of Population Profiles

“Population Profile of the United States” contains current information on a wide range of topics including national and state population trends and projections; geographical mobility; school enrollment; educational attainment; postsecondary school financing; households and families; marital status and living arrangements; fertility; child care arrangements; child support; disability; program participation; health insurance; labor force and occupation; money income, poverty; race and ethnicity; and the older population.

Each section is illustrated with graphs, charts, and maps. At the end of each section, readers will find sources for further information.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader This link to a non-federal Web site  does not imply endorsement of any particular product, company, or  content. available free from Adobe.

(from -)

http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/profile_list.html

note, there are other population profiles on this page for the US from years prior to 1995

***

The Population Profile of the United States: Dynamic Version
(Internet Release)

Notes About this Release

<!–Preface [PDF] (55k)
–>Contents and Chapter Access

Notes About This Release

In order to provide the reader with the most up-to-date information possible, the Population Profile has been changed to a dynamic, Internet-only publication that is updated as new research is released. If you wish to be notified whenever the Population Profile of the United States: Dynamic Version is updated, type in “ask.census.gov” in the address box. Next type in “ZProfile” in the box for “Keywords or Question.” Click on the words “Population profiles.” Go to the bottom of that page and click on “Contact me if this answer changes.”  You will receive an immediate confirmation that your request has been submitted. Then, the next time the Population Profile is updated, you will receive e-mail notification that will take you directly to the edited document.

The first issue of the Population Profile of the United States was published in 1974. Originally updates were published every year, but the schedule was soon modified to alternate years. The last printed version of the Population Profile used 1999 data and was issued in 2001. In 2002, the first Internet-only version of the Profile was posted on the Web. The individual chapters of the new Dynamic Version of the Population Profile will be updated on an ongoing basis.

The primary sources for this report are the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program, the Current Population Survey (CPS), the American Community Survey (ACS), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the American Housing Survey (AHS). Data for the United States cover the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Estimates from survey data are based on responses from a sample of the population. The different population universes for these surveys are noted in each chapter. As with all surveys, estimates may vary from the actual values because of sampling variation or other factors. All comparisons of survey estimates made in this report have undergone statistical testing and are significant at the 90-percent confidence level unless otherwise noted. For more information on the accuracy of the data, see Appendix A.

All reports listed in this publication are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 or on the Census Bureau’s web site at www.census.gov.

General questions or comments about this report may be addressed to Judith Waldrop, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233 (301-763-2439) or e-mailed to Judith.W.Waldrop@census.gov.

Contents and Chapter Access

All files in .pdf format

Part I: Population Dynamics

Part II: Components of Change

Part III: Households and Housing

Part IV: Social Characteristics

Part V: Household Economics

Part VI: Special Populations

Appendix A. Source and Accuracy of Data (28k) [Updated Feb. 2007]

(from)

http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/profiledynamic.html

***

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed            USDL-10-0256
until 8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 5, 2010

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

                    THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- FEBRUARY 2010

Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the
unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment fell in construction and information, while tem-
porary help services added jobs. Severe winter weather in parts of the
country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not
possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these
measures. For more information on the effects of the severe weather on employ-
ment estimates, see the box note at the end of the release.

Household Survey Data

In February, the number of unemployed persons, at 14.9 million, was essen-
tially unchanged, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent. (See
table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0 per-
cent), adult women (8.0 percent), whites (8.8 percent), blacks (15.8 percent),
Hispanics (12.4 percent), and teenagers (25.0 percent) showed little to no
change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.4 percent, not season-
ally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was
6.1 million in February and has been about that level since December. About 4
in 10 unemployed persons have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. (See
table A-12.)

In February, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.8 percent) and
the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were little changed. (See
table A-1.)

The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes refer-
red to as involuntary part-time workers) increased from 8.3 to 8.8 million in
February, partially offsetting a large decrease in the prior month. These in-
dividuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or be-
cause they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in
February, an increase of 476,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not sea-
sonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and
were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12
months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for
work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in
February, up by 473,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally ad-
justed.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work be-
cause they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million
persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in
the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or
family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in February (-36,000).
Job losses continued in construction and information, while employment con-
tinued to increase in temporary help services. Since the start of the reces-
sion in December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 8.4 million. (See
table B-1.)

Construction employment fell by 64,000 in February, about in line with the
average monthly job loss over the prior 6 months. Job losses were concen-
trated in nonresidential building (-10,000) and among nonresidential specialty
trade contractors (-35,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction
has fallen by 1.9 million.

Employment in the information industry dropped by 18,000 in February. Since
December 2007, job losses in information have totaled 297,000. In February,
employment in transportation and warehousing continued to trend down.

Employment in manufacturing was essentially unchanged in February. Small job
gains in a number of component industries were offset by job losses in motor
vehicles and parts and in chemicals.

Retail trade employment was unchanged in February, after a sizeable increase
in January. Over the month, job gains in building material and garden supply
stores (7,000) and in department stores (6,000) were offset by declines in
food and beverage stores (-9,000).

In February, temporary help services added 48,000 jobs. Since reaching a low
point in September 2009, temporary help services employment has risen by
284,000. Health care employment continued to trend upward in February.

In February, employment in the federal government edged up. The hiring of
15,000 temporary workers for Census 2010 was partially offset by a decline
in U.S. Postal Service employment.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined
by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours in February. The manufacturing workweek for all
employees dropped by 0.4 hour to 39.5 hours, and factory overtime decreased
by 0.2 hour over the month. In February, the average workweek for production
or nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.2 hour to
33.1 hours; the workweek fell by 1.0 hour in construction, likely reflecting
the unusually severe winter storms. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.46. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent. In February, aver-
age hourly earnings of private production and nonsupervisory employees rose
by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $18.93. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from
-150,000 to -109,000, and the change for January was revised from -20,000 to
-26,000.

The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday,
April 2, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

    _______________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                       |
   |         Effect of Severe Winter Storms on Employment Estimates        |
   |                                                                       |
   |Major winter storms affected parts of the country during the February  |
   |reference periods for the establishment and household surveys.         |
   |                                                                       |
   |In the establishment survey, the reference period was the pay period   |
   |including February 12th. In order for severe weather conditions to re- |
   |duce the estimate of payroll employment, employees have to be off work |
   |for an entire pay period and not be paid for the time missed. About    |
   |half of all workers in the payroll survey have a 2-week, semi-monthly, |
   |or monthly pay period. Workers who received pay for any part of the    |
   |reference pay period, even one hour, are counted in the February pay-  |
   |roll employment figures. While some persons may have been off payrolls |
   |during the survey reference period, some industries, such as those     |
   |dealing with cleanup and repair activities, may have added workers.    |
   |                                                                       |
   |In the household survey, the reference period was the calendar week of |
   |February 7-13. People who miss work for weather-related events are     |
   |counted as employed whether or not they are paid for the time off.     |
   |                                                                       |
    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                       |
   |                Corrections to Establishment Survey Data               |
   |                                                                       |
   |With the release of February data on March 5, 2010, BLS has corrected  |
   |April-July 2009 establishment survey estimates for all employees and   |
   |women employees for the federal government series. The changes result  |
   |from corrections to initial counts for Census temporary and intermit-  |
   |tent workers for Census 2010. The corrections affect the following in- |
   |dustry series: other federal government; federal, except the U.S. Post-|
   |al Service; federal government; government; service-providing; and to- |
   |tal nonfarm. These corrections do not affect any employment data before|
   |April 2009 or after July 2009. No hours and earnings data are impacted.|
   |                                                                       |
   |_______________________________________________________________________|

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: March 05, 2010

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Main page at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics –

http://www.bls.gov/

***

"In February, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.8 percent) and
the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were little changed. (See
table A-1.)"

How can the civilian labor force participation be 64.8%
and the unemployment be less than 10%? That doesn't add up to 100% in any respect.

Those numbers mean that the real unemployment level is 35.2% in the United States.
(and that is without including the illegal immigrants, students in college, people 
who are retired and having to come out of retirement because they lost money in the
stock market, and people in jail, people in institutions, people who are employed 
part-time that need to be employed full time in order to live.) Hmmm . . . .

– my note, cricketdiane

***

Employment Situation

March 05, 2010
Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent. Employment fell in construction and information, while temporary help services added jobs. Unusually severe winter weather in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment in February; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms.
Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

http://www.bls.gov/

Productivity and Costs

March 04, 2010
Productivity increased 6.9 percent in the nonfarm business sector during the fourth quarter of 2009 as unit labor costs fell 5.9 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates, revised). In manufacturing, productivity rose 6.6 percent while unit labor costs fell 6.3 percent.
Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

***

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