BLS Analysis for Recruiters November 2020 – 3 Articles

Bob Marshall’s November 2020 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 12/4/20

The 3 November BLS Analysis Articles…

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Dick Morris:  America’s Gigantic Global Economic Victory

Leading Economic Index Up, Still Indicates Moderate Growth in Last Part of Year

Daily News, November 19, 2020

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index rose in October but still points to more moderate growth in the final months of this year.  The Conference Board also reported Covid-19 remains a concern.

“The US [Leading Economic Index] rose again in October, with widespread improvements despite weakness from housing permits and consumers’ outlook on economic conditions,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board.  “However, the leading index has been decelerating in recent months, which suggests growth will moderate significantly in the final months of 2020, slowing down from the unusually rapid pace in Q3.”

A second wave of Covid-19 and high unemployment also present downside risks to growth, Ozyildirim said.  The US economy will expand in the fourth quarter, but the pace of growth will not likely exceed 2.2% at an annual rate.

For October, the Leading Economic Index rose 0.7% to reach a level of 108.2 (2016 = 100).  That followed a 0.7% increase in September and a 1.6% increase in August.

IT Employment Rises by 27,200 Jobs in October, Continues to Heal: TechServe Alliance

Daily News, November 19, 2020

IT employment rose by 0.53% in October — an increase of 27,200 jobs — to nearly 5,200,000 jobs in total, according to the TechServe Alliance, a trade association for the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry.

Still, IT employment was down by 3.20% compared to October 2019, representing a loss of 171,300 IT workers.

“After a precipitous decline in the Spring and bottoming out in July, IT employment posted strong growth the last three months including a jump of 0.53% in October,” TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts said.  “While the IT employment market continues to ‘heal’ with talent in high-demand skill sets remaining in short supply, the pace and depth of the ongoing recovery will impact future IT hiring trends.”

Roberts noted that while IT employment is more resilient than many other sectors, it’s still not immune to the prevailing economic winds.

Separately, engineering employment rose by 0.19% sequentially in October to nearly 2,600,000, though it was down 2.66% compared to October 2019.

Forecast for US GDP Gets Downgrade, But Jobs Projections Improve

Daily News, November 16, 2020

Economists downgraded their forecast for growth in US gross domestic product for the remainder of this year and the first 9 months of 2021, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Survey of Professional Forecasters for the fourth quarter.  However, they don’t believe the US unemployment rate will be as high as forecast in their third-quarter report, and US payrolls are projected to grow at a faster clip.

For the fourth quarter of this year, the economists predict real GDP to increase only 4.0% on an annual basis compared to their previous forecast of 5.8%.

On the other hand, the median forecast for the unemployment rate was 7.0% for this quarter, down from the previous forecast of 9.5%.

Predicted job gains also jumped with forecasters now expecting the US to add an average of 689,800 jobs per month in the fourth quarter of this year, up from the previous forecast of 398,500.