When will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Economists, business executives and consumers have been asking that question with increasing intensity for the past two years. The July employment report may have brought the Fed closer to answering it. Employers added 215,000 jobs for the month, a little short of the consensus forecast, but still… Read More »

The June economic reports brought a spate of mostly good news, peppered with continuing concerns about the employment outlook. Although employers added 223,000 jobs for the month wage gains remained anemic, leaving the timing of the Fed’s interest rate move still in doubt. On that point, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Congressional committee… Read More »

Employers added 223,000 positions to their payrolls in April, falling a little short of the consensus, but beating many more pessimistic forecasts and rebounding strongly from the March Department of Labor report, which was revised downward from a dismal 126,000 to an even more dismal 85,000. The Federal Reserve, which has been inching closer to… Read More »

For anyone concerned that the Federal Reserve might move too quickly to boost interest rates, the disappointing March employment report was reassuring, if not welcome, news. Most analysts agreed that the significant slowdown in hiring (employers added only 126,000 new jobs) will give the Fed reason to regain the “patience” the Federal Open Market Committee… Read More »

The February employment report fell solidly and impressively in the “better” column, as employers added 295,000 workers to their payrolls. The strong performance beat both more conservative estimates and the January jobs total, which was revised downward. It also marked the 12th consecutive month in which payrolls increased by 200,000 or more. The unemployment rate,… Read More »

The year began with a strong jolt of positive news: Employers added 252,000 jobs in December, beating estimates, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, its lowest level since June, 2008. But wages declined for the first time in more than a year and the labor participation rate slumped, as well, casting a “yes-but”… Read More »