Thursday, April 6, 2017

Unemployment Claims: Biggest Drop In Nearly Two Years -- The Political Page, T+75 -- April 6, 2017

Purely a business decision: Aetna "pulls out" of Iowa

Purely a political decision: Nunes steps aside.

Purely wonderful: Amazon will create 30,000 part-time jobs

Jobs. From CNBC:
  • better than expected
  • biggest drop in nearly two years
  • largest since the week ending April 25, 2015 
  • estimate: 250,000
  • actual: 234,000
  • previous week: revised up 1,000
  • claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market for 109 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970 when the labor market was smaller.
  • the labor market is currently near full employment.
  • four-week moving average fell 4,500 to 250,000
  • the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 25
  • the four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 7,750 to 2.02 million, the lowest level since 2000 

2017 Geico Rock Award nominee:  Lonnie Golden, economics professor at Penn State University.
"There’s no clear association with the implementation of the “employer mandate” in Obamacare and the time trend in involuntary part-time workers, said Lonnie Golden, economics professor at Penn State University and author of that EPI report."
From MarketWatch today:
Seeking more flexibility, American workers are working from home and part-time, but these jobs often come with fewer benefits. In fact, the number of Americans working involuntarily part-time rose 45% since 2007 to 6.4 million, a December 2016 report by the Economic Policy Institute found. The EPI, a nonprofit think-tank in Washington, D.C., said the increase is almost entirely due to the inability of workers to find full-time jobs, leaving many workers to take or keep lower-paying jobs with less consistent hours to make ends meet. And more than half (54%) of the growth in these involuntary part-time jobs between 2007 and 2015 were in retail, leisure and hospitality industries.

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