Monthly Economic Report: January 2014

Posted by Paladin on January 21, 2014

A summary of the BLS Report for the Professional and business services industry.
Based on December 2013 Data.

Job creation stalled in December. As evidenced by the BLS’ “The Employment Situation — December 2013” report, the United States’ economic recovery is still occurring at a steady, though inconsistent, pace. In the midst of the holiday hiring season, the nation only generated 74,000 new jobs last month, nearly 120,000 less than some economists had anticipated.

Prior to December, it appeared the country’s employment situation had improved in recent months, as an average of 204,000 new jobs were created on a monthly basis from August to November. Private sector hiring had been wide-ranging as well, with a majority of industries reporting a rise in employment during the third and fourth quarters.

December’s jobs report was certainly a bit of a surprise. A deeper look at the numbers showed many pieces of conflicting data. The gain of 74,000 jobs in December 2013 was the smallest addition seen since January 2011.

National unemployment rate December 2013

The lowered unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, a five-year low, pointed to a high number of those reporting themselves as not a part of the labor force (347,000) leading to a national participation rate of 62.8 percent.

As economists worked to make sense of the numbers, a silver lining emerged. The report showed that from December 2012 to December 2013, the total number of long-term unemployed Americans (without work for 27 weeks or more) declined by 894,000. In addition, total joblessness decreased considerably from November to December, by 490,000.

Even though only 87,000 private sector jobs were generated in December, the sector still added 2.2 million new jobs to the economy last year. As a result, the national unemployment rate declined sharply — and steadily – throughout 2013, from a yearly high of 7.9 percent in January to 6.7 percent last month.

74,000 new jobs were added in December

Industry Insights

What Secrets Your Phone is Sharing About You
Source: Wall Street Journal  | By: Elizabeth Dwoskin

Fan Zhang, the owner of Happy Child, a trendy Asian restaurant in downtown Toronto, knows that 170 of his customers went clubbing in November. He knows that 250 went to the gym that month, and that 216 came in from Yorkville, an upscale neighborhood.

And he gleans this information without his customers’ knowledge, or ever asking them a single question.

Mr. Zhang is a client of Turnstyle Solutions Inc., a year-old local company that has placed sensors in about 200 businesses within a 0.7 mile radius in downtown Toronto to track shoppers as they move in the city.

The sensors, each about the size of a deck of cards, follow signals emitted from Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones. That allows them to create portraits of roughly 2 million people’s habits as they have gone about their daily lives, traveling from yoga studios to restaurants, to coffee shops, sports stadiums, hotels, and nightclubs.

Turnstyle is at the forefront of a movement to track consumers who are continuously broadcasting their location from phones. Other startups, such as San Francisco-based Euclid Analytics Inc., use sensors to analyze foot-traffic patterns, largely within an individual retailer’s properties to glean insight about customer behavior.

Their success speaks to the growing value of location data. Verizon Wireless last year began crunching its own location information from customers to help retailers see which neighborhoods shoppers arrived from or limited information about their habits, such as restaurants they drive past. Apple Inc. recently released its iBeacon technology, which can be integrated into sensors to read customer’s smartphone signals in brick-and-mortar stores.

Read more.

Posted in: Employers, General, Jobs Reports, Monthly Economic Reports, Workplace Economic Reports Tags: ,

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