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U.S. Exports Top Historic High of $2.1 Trillion, Support 9.7 Million Jobs

Economic Indicator: Nearly 4 million jobs created in the past 24 months

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their February 2012 report on the employment situation, and the economy posted strong gains again in February, building on January's strong report.  Total private non-farm employment increased by 233,000 in February.  In the past 24 months, the private sector has added nearly 4 million jobs (3.94 technically). 

Economic Indicator: Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims and Private Sector Job Growth

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month, which typically brings new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But, alas, the actual release date will be next Friday March 9th. To help satiate our cravings for labor market analysis, we have decided to take a look at today's release of the weekly unemployment insurance data from the Department of Labor.

Economic Indicator: GDP, GDI, Surprise! Personal income and saving revised up

Today BEA released its second estimate for real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011 showing a 3.0 percent annual growth rate, revised up from the initial estimate of 2.8%.  While the upward revision to GDP was welcome news, there was even better news in revisions to the income data (income data is used to compute something called Gross Domestic Income, or GDI).  More specifically, personal income growth was revised upward, from 0.8% to 3.2% in Q3, and from 2.6% and 3.2% in Q4. 

Crude Oil and Gasoline Prices in 2012

The recent positive economic news strengthens hope that the economy will continue to gain momentum during 2012.  However, one potential fly in the (petroleum-based) ointment is rising oil (and hence gasoline) prices. 

Economic Indicator: New residential construction up in January 2012

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that new privately owned housing starts in January 2012 came in at 699,000 up 1.5 percent from December 2011.  January 2012 new housing start permits issued were up 0.7 percent over December 2011.  However, the positive news goes deeper than just these two numbers. 

Economic Indicator: Another sign of the resurgence of the automobile industry

Today, the Federal Reserve released their Industrial Production data for January 2012. Motor vehicle assemblies in January 2012 were 10.17 million (SAAR) the highest since February of 2008.

Economic Briefing: U.S. International Trade in 2011

With today's release of trade data for December, we now have the complete picture of exports and imports for 2011.  Exports continued to show strong growth, climbing 14.5 percent in 2011.   Along with the 16.7 percent increase in 2010, this means that exports have increased more than one-third (33.5 percent to be precise) over the last two years, a pace that slightly exceeds that needed to achieve the National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by 2014.   

The State of our Union’s 21st Century Workforce

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out an ambitious goal to train 2 million workers with the necessary skills to land a job.  What are those skills in a 21st century economy?  As we have written previously in this blog, the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) play a critical role in America's global economic leadership and are vital to securing the highest quality jobs of the future, to decreasing the gender wage gap, and to ensuring America retains global econo

Economic Indicator: Private Sector Employment up 257,000 in January 2012

Some good news on the employment front! The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their January 2012 report on the employment situation showing private sector employment increased 257,000 -- the largest increase since April 2011 (264,000).  In addition, private sector employment gains were revised upward by 58,000 in November and 8,000 in December.  Over the past 23 months, the private sector has added jobs every month for a total of nearly 3.7 million jobs.  


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