Jobs US Non-Farm Payroll Report
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March 10, 2017 - US Economy Adds 235,000 Jobs in February
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, and the
unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in construction,
private educational services, manufacturing, health care, and mining.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 7.5 million, changed little in February. The unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, was little changed over the month but was down from 4.9 percent a year earlier.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate decreased for Whites to 4.1 percent in February, while the jobless rates for adult men (4.3 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (15.0 percent), Blacks (8.1 percent), Asians (3.4 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed little or no change.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.8 million in February and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 358,000.
In February, the labor force participation rate, at 63.0 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.0 percent, showed little change.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 5.7 million in February. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.
In February, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 522,000 discouraged workers in February, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
February 27, 2017 - Farm Job Wages Are Heading Higher
Trump's Deportation Policy Stands to Drive Up Farm Wages By Bloomberg
U.S. agriculture labor costs already outpace rest of workforce.
America’s choice: Import its labor or import its food.
Across America’s orchards and crop fields, a shrinking supply of migrants has already driven pay up faster than in the broader workforce. President Donald Trump’s immigration policy may turbocharge that trend.
Wages for U.S. fieldworkers rose 36 percent over the past decade through the conclusion of last year’s harvest in October, compared with 27 percent among non-farm employees, government data show. Reducing the supply of labor wouldn’t just cause pay gains to accelerate: The Trump administration’s expanded deportations for undocumented immigrants could put some growers out of business if the actions aren’t accompanied by increases in workers available through legal guest-worker programs.
“You would see operations just shut down,” said Zaid Kurdieh, who employs about two dozen legal immigrants at Norwich Meadows Farm in central New York state. “Even if you fill the gap with legal workers, the wages will jump just to get people to work,” said Kurdieh, whose 80-acre organic farm supplies a wide range of vegetables to farmers’ markets in New York and New Jersey.
While policy shifts on taxes and health care are months or years from taking effect -- much less having a broad influence on the world’s largest economy -- farms and their workers may provide a more real-time look at the impact of a signature Trump action. Other industries with a significant proportion of undocumented workers include construction and hospitality, with one study suggesting that unauthorized immigrants contribute about 3 percent of private-sector gross domestic product.
Trump’s immigration plan, outlined in memos on Tuesday, would add 15,000 border-enforcement agents to enforce immigration laws and expand the categories of undocumented immigrants targeted for expulsion. The administration is arguing the moves are necessary to fulfill campaign promises to restore the integrity of national borders, while critics call it a detailed blueprint for the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The extent of actual deportations and the system’s capacity to handle them is unclear. Officials haven’t given targets for the number of expulsions, after more than 2.7 million during former President Barack Obama’s eight-year term. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly vowed on Thursday that there would be no “mass” deportations.
While much of the U.S. farm economy is mechanized, fresh produce and dairy remain heavily dependent on human labor. Immigrants, both legal and unauthorized, have supplied that labor for generations. American farms have already faced worker shortages from Obama’s stepped-up deportations and a decline in arrivals from Mexico, traditionally the main source of migrants.
About a quarter of the U.S. farm workforce, more than 300,000 people, don’t have valid immigration papers, according to a 2009 survey by the Pew Hispanic Center. Other studies suggest the number may be more than 1 million and as much as 70 percent of all workers. The sector is already struggling: The Agriculture Department said Feb. 7 that farm profits this year will fall for the fourth consecutive year, the first time that’s happened since the 1970s.
An immigration policy focused on closing the border would shift as much as 61 percent of U.S. fruit production to other countries and send jobs to nearby nations such as Mexico, in part because wage costs would make U.S. foods less competitive, according to a 2014 study commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest U.S. farmer group.
Cutting the total unauthorized workforce by roughly half, meanwhile, would push wages for undocumented and legal guest farm workers as much as 40 percent higher than they would have been otherwise over a 15-year period, according to a 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Field worker wages increased by 4 percent to an average of $12.59 an hour in the reference week of Oct. 9-15 from a year earlier, according to the most recent USDA data. That’s ahead of the 2.7 percent pace for nonfarm employees in Labor Department figures for the same month, though the average wage for that group was $25.90.
A sudden jump in deportations would quickly throw agricultural wage scales out of whack, said Ethan Harris, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of global economics in New York. City Folk
“There’s no way to get people out of the city and into the country to pick crops on short notice without a very dramatic increase in wages,” Harris said. “The tougher question is to figure out whether there’s a bigger disruption to these workers leaving,” such as difficulty harvesting crops.
That’s the situation farmers are trying to avoid.
Immigration “is an area where could have some disagreements with the president,” Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said Thursday in a speech at the USDA’s annual farm outlook forum. “We support securing the border,” he said, but “we can’t tolerate just enforcement. It does nothing good for our farmers, it does nothing good for our consumers.”
A crackdown may not have a great effect on consumer prices, Duvall said in a separate Bloomberg Radio interview, because retailers may simply substitute imports for domestic goods. But U.S. agriculture, and the rural communities that supported Trump in his bid for the White House, would be upended by policies that would no longer make America the first choice for migrant-dependent crops, he said.
“The farm labor discussion is around whether or not our country wants to import our labor or whether they want to import their food,” he said. “I think the American people want to eat food that’s grown in America.”
The US Non-Farm Payroll Report
The US non-farm payroll data report is the largest most imortant economic data report in the financial markets.
Nonfarm payrolls is an employment report released monthly, usually on the first Friday of every month, and heavily affects the US dollar, the bond market and the stock market.
The US non-farm payroll report is the monthly change in employment excluding the farming sector. Non-farm payrolls is the most closely watched indicator in the employment situation, considered the most comprehensive measure of job creation in the US. Such a distinction makes the NFP figure highly significant, given the importance of labor to the US economy.
Specifically, political pressures come into play, as the Fed is responsible for keeping employment in a healthy range and utilizes interest rate changes to do so. A surge in new Non-farm Payrolls suggests rising employment and potential inflation pressures, which the Fed often counters with rate increases. On the other hand, a consistent decline in Non-farm Employment suggests a slowing economy, which makes a decline in interest rates more likely.
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