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Economic Indicator: Holiday Retail Jobs Return to Pre-Recession Level – Taking a Closer Look

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday December 2 that the retail trade sector hired 423,500 more workers in November effectively a return to pre-recession levels for those jobs.

Economic Indicator: Understanding Holiday Retail Sales

Tomorrow we will release retail sales data for November amid a steady drumbeat of news stories about holiday shopping.  These stories beg the question of just how important sales are during the holiday season -- for overall consumer spending as well as for specialty stores.   The short answer is that total retail sales (excluding motor vehicle sales) tend to creep up about 3 percent every year between September and October (bearing in mind that September tends to be in a bit of a post-summer lull).  The upward creep continues at a bit over 4 percent in November, and then sales spike 17 per

Economic Indicator: The European Economy and U.S. Exports - A Seasonally Adjusted View

A recently released Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) forecast suggests that the Euro area economies have already fallen into recession. This is likely to affect U.S. goods exports.  Has this expected effect shown up in the data yet?  Currently, it is difficult to tell when this effect may be occurring because the country export data are not adjusted for seasonal changes.

September 2011 exports highest on record

Economic Indicator: Foreign trade data show U.S. well on its way to NEI goal of doubling exports in five years

Broadband Internet Adoption Moves Forward, but Digital Divide Still Persists

The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report today entitled "Exploring the Digital Nation:  Computer and Internet Use at Home." This report investigates broadband Internet use in the United States and finds that disparities continue to exist in broadband Internet adoption among demographic and geographic groups.

Economic Indicator: Tough Economic Times Continue for State and Local Governments

Last week's gross domestic product (GDP) report confirmed that our economy continues to grow (2.5 percent in the third quarter), although not as quickly as we would like.

Economic Indicator: GDP and Jobs - What’s Going On?

Let's go back in time by 2 months to August:  stock markets were reeling and fears of a double dip recession were being increasingly espoused (at least according to Google's recollection) and a measure of consumer sentiment plunged.  However, a funny thing happened to those naysayers' predictions: the economy continued to grow, clearly not strongly enough, but it continued to grow.  Consumers 

Economic Indicator: Jobs Numbers Don’t Show Double Dip

Given the turmoil in world financial markets over the past couple of months, with stock market indices testing new yearly lows, fears about the U.S. labor market and economy have been amplified; according to Google search, "double dip" became an increasingly popular search term (and not because of a surge in the demand for ice cream). 

Education Promotes Racial and Ethnic Equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Jobs

Yesterday, ESA released a report examining the representation of minorities in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs -- the third in a series of reports on STEM.   Education Helps to Enable Racial and Ethnic Equality in STEM suggests that higher education is a gateway to high-quality, high-paying STEM jobs, and demographic groups with higher college graduation rates tend to see higher shares of STEM workers.

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