This Week in Economic News: September 7 – 11, 2020

September 11, 2020 — Blog   

JOLTS Report

As the Economy Reopened in July, So Did Job Opportunities

  • Job openings increased by 600,000 in July across various sectors. The biggest gains for workers were seen in retail trade, health care and social assistance, and construction.
  • More workers are either holding their jobs or voluntarily leaving as layoffs and discharges decreased by nearly 275,000 while quits increased by nearly 345,000. An increase in the number of quits is usually a sign of a growing economy.
  • Hires slowed significantly, particularly in the accommodation and food services industry.  This is exactly why we should encourage reopening and reorganizing businesses safely, to reassure fearful unemployed workers and allow more workers to reenter the workforce safely.

(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.)

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Small Businesses Feel Better About the Future Ahead

  • As the economy continues to recover, the small business optimism index rose above its historical average.
  • More small businesses plan on increasing their workforce as job openings continuing to increase.
  • Overall, more small businesses believe that now is a good time to expand.

(About the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index: The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index provides an insight into small businesses’ sentiment and economic outlook on labor markets, capital spending, sales, etc.) 

Lost Wage Assistance Program

FEMA’s Lost Wage Assistance Program Provides Billions of Dollars of Relief

  • In August, President Trump signed an Executive Order to provide temporary supplemental unemployment insurance benefits in the absence of congressional action to extend or modify the $600/week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

(About the Lost Wage Assistance Program: For information on how the Lost Wage Assistance Program works, click HERE.)

Coming Up:

Retail Sales

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020:

What to Expect: As retail sales reached pre-pandemic levels for most types of stores and coronavirus infection rates continue to decrease nationally, consumers have likely continued to spend.

(About Retail Sales: The Census Bureau reports monthly the amount of sales that occurred in retail and food services. This report provides a perspective on the health of the economy as more than two-thirds of the economy is fueled by consumer spending.)

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Meeting

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020:

What to Expect: The Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged in order to continue economic stimulus. Chairman Jerome Powell may provide more insight to the Fed’s new inflation targeting regime.

(About the FOMC: The FOMC sets appropriate monetary policy by influencing interest rates in order to achieve their Congressional dual mandate of stable prices and maximum employment.)

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index and Housing Starts

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 & Thursday, September 17, 2020

What to Expect: The housing market is likely to continue to heat up as the economic recovery progresses while consumers demand homes outside of urban areas and in suburbs.  Housing prices will likely rise as consumer demand and lumber prices increase while a shortage of homes exists.

(About the Housing Market Index: The Housing Market Index surveys NAHB members to give a sense of current and future housing market conditions.

About Housing Starts: Housing starts details the amount of new construction of residential buildings.)

Want to read more on the fight against Coronavirus? Read our Coronavirus Bulletin here which contains our extensive FAQ about recent federal actions.

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