This Week in Economic News: September 28 – October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020 — Blog   

Employment Situation

Economy Added 661,000 Jobs During September

  • Over half of jobs lost from COVID-19 have been recovered.
  • Nearly 900,000 private jobs were created, most of which were in the service industry.
  • More workers are confident that they can find a better job as the number of job leavers increased by over 200,000.
  • The number of workers whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions decreased by 1.3 million, signaling that better economic conditions allowed workers to work a more normal number of hours.
  • The unemployment rate fell for all minorities and those who do not have a high school diploma, those who only have a high school diploma and those who at least completed a bachelor’s degree.
  • Unemployment was half of what the Congressional Budget Office projected for this quarter back in May, including this month.

(About the Employment Situation: The Employment Situation tracks how many jobs were created/lost, the unemployment rate, and wages. This report gives the clearest monthly snapshot of how healthy the economy is doing.)

Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment

Consumers Increasingly Optimistic about the COVID-era Economy

  • All three of the Conference Board’s measures of consumer confidence shot up by double digits.
  • The University of Michigan’s measure of consumer sentiment increased to its highest level recorded during the pandemic.

(About Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment: Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment both survey and measure how consumers feel about the current and near-term economy. As consumers become confident, they are more likely to stimulate the economy through consumer spending. When consumers become less confident or more uncertain about the economy’s future, they will hold back spending, which will slow an economy.)

ISM Manufacturing Index (PMI)

Economy Grows for 5th Straight Month

  • Demand for goods increased in September as factories see increased new and backlogged orders.
  • Employment, as measured through the PMI, is the closest it’s been to an expansionary level since July 2019.
  • 14 out of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth as factories learned to adjust to COVID-19 related challenges.

(About ISM PMI: The Institute for Supply Management surveys purchasing and supply executives on the current state of their industries and their contributions to GDP. The results of the survey provide a snapshot of the health of U.S. manufacturing.)

Coming Up:

Employment Trends Index

When: Monday, October 5, 2020

About Employment Trends Index: The Employment Trends Index is a monthly gauge on the labor market, aggregating eight economic indicators such as job openings, industrial production, survey results from the Conference Board and the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI)

When: Thursday, October 5, 2020

About ISM NMI: The Institute for Supply Management surveys purchasing and supply executives on the current state of their industries and their contributions to GDP. The results of the survey provide a snapshot of the health of U.S. service-providing industry.

JOLTS Report

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2020:

(About the JOLTS Report: The JOLTS Report provides a snapshot of labor demand. It reports the amount of job openings, hires, and voluntary/involuntary separations.)

Federal Open Market Committee Minutes

When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020

About the FOMC Minutes: The minutes provides insight what the Federal Reserve is thinking about the current, near-term, and long-term states of the economy, and how to set interest rates accordingly.

SUBCOMMITTEE: Full Committee    SUBCOMMITTEE: Select Revenue Measures    SUBCOMMITTEE: Worker and Family Support