In this special hour-long edition of Economic Pulse, Dr. Kamran Afshar welcomes members of the business community for a roundtable discussion on the results of the quarterly economic review of Lehigh Valley businesses.
PA Department of Labor and Industry reported a significant drop in the unemployment rate, falling from 7.7% in July 2013 to 5.9% in July 2014. But let’s look at the calculations; there were 2,500 new jobs created in the last 12 months which is ok, and if this was all, unemployment rate would have dropped to only 6.7%. Then how did we moved down to 5.9%, where did the other 0.8% come from?
Inflation is back, although we have not completely felt it yet. Inflation over the 12 months was 2%, inflation rate in 2014 is 2.4% and in the last 3 months this rate has increased to 2.8%. Actual inflation is accelerating. (Original air-date 8/22/2014)
Dr. Kamran Afshar hosts a special, one-hour Quarterly Economic Review on Economic Pulse. Dr. Afshar discusses the economic state of the Lehigh Valley with guests:
• Dave Kepler (Executive Vice President of Univest Corporation) • Ed Meehan (Executive Director of the Rider Pool Foundation) • Thomas Demshock (Owner of Fishburn Realty Co.) • Bill Kreitz ( President of Hampson Mowrer Kreitz Insurance)
This week on Economic Pulse, host Dr. Kamran Afshar looks at the June data for the Lehigh Valley housing market. While there is potential price strength for the local housing market, there is also low volume and other indicators that predict a decent, but not great summer.
What happened to manufacturing? Are we producing anything anymore?
Employment in manufacturing has dropped from 18 million in 1972 to 12 million in 2010, however, the fewer manufacturing employees are producing a lot more products than their significantly larger manufacturing employees did in 1970s.
June consumer sentiment index recorded a slight increase over its May’s level. The index has been relatively unchanged in the last 6 months, this is remarkable considering the size of the GDP drop in the 1st quarter. Consumers clearly considered this a one time events.
The Lehigh Valley’s employment level has now exceeded its pre-recessionary high. However, not all the jobs lost have been recovered. Recoveries in the job market are seldom even across the sectors. Usually the new jobs are somewhat or a lot different from the ones lost. The same is true about the Lehigh Valley’s recovery. Many of the jobs lost are not going to come back. The Valley is moving in the direction of services and away form production.
Payroll employment increased by whopping 217,000 in May. Despite that, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%. The unemployment rate stayed the same despite the 217,000 new additions to payroll employment because the total number of unemployed increased by 46,000. How did that happen? This is basically a function of the definition of employment. The government’s definition of employed is very broad and appears to have been designed to underestimate the total unemployment.