Council of Economic Advisers Blog

  • The Employment Situation in July

    Total job growth exceeded 200,000 for the sixth straight month in July, the first time that has happened since 1997. This encouraging trend in the labor market is consistent with other recent economic indicators, including the strong second-quarter GDP growth reported on Wednesday. To ensure this momentum can be sustained, the President is pressing Congress to act to create jobs and expand opportunity, while simultaneously using his own executive authority to encourage investment in the United States, boost the income of working families, and ensure safe and fair treatment of American workers.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 9.9 million jobs over 53 straight months of job growth, the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 209,000 in July, mainly reflecting a 198,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth in May and June were revised up slightly, so that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by a total of 2.5 million. 

  • Advance Estimate of GDP for the Second Quarter of 2014

    Economic growth in the second quarter was strong, consistent with the recent further improvement in the labor market and other indicators. The economy could do even better if Congress does its part to help — starting with taking the steps needed to ensure that work on our roads and bridges is not brought to a halt this fall. But to make further progress, the President is pressing ahead on his own authority, taking action to facilitate investments in American manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.0 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2014, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second-quarter increase in GDP follows a first-quarter decline that was slightly less steep than previously reported. In the second quarter, growth in consumer spending and business investment picked up from the previous quarter, and residential investment increased following two straight quarters of decline. Additionally, state and local government spending grew at the fastest quarterly rate in five years. However, net exports subtracted from overall GDP growth, as imports grew faster than exports. Over the last four quarters, real GDP has risen 2.4 percent.

  • The Employment Situation in June

    The 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any first half since 1999. Furthermore, this is the first time since September 1999-January 2000 we have seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months. While today’s jobs report is encouraging, many families are still struggling with long-term unemployment and wages that have been stagnant for decades. The President continues to press Congress to take steps to further strengthen the economy, including passing a transportation bill to avoid jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of jobs later this year. But he will also continue to make progress using his own authority to increase economic opportunity, support wage growth, and ensure America’s workplaces are adapting to the 21st century.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

  • Third Estimate of GDP for the First Quarter of 2014

    First-quarter GDP was revised down today, largely reflecting updated estimates of consumer spending on health care, which was substantially lower than originally reported, as well as exports, which were below the initial estimates. The GDP data can be volatile from quarter to quarter; a range of other data show a more positive picture for the first quarter, and more up-to-date indicators from April and May suggest that the economy is on track for a rebound in the second quarter. The recovery from the Great Recession, however, remains incomplete, and the President will continue to do everything he can to support the recovery, either by acting through executive action or by working with Congress on steps that would boost growth and speed job creation.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This drop follows an increase of 3.4 percent at an annual rate in the second half of 2013. The entire decline in overall GDP in the first quarter can be accounted for by a decline in exports and a slowdown in inventory investment, two particularly volatile components of GDP. In addition, several components were likely affected by unusually severe winter weather, including consumer spending on food services and accommodations, which fell for the first time in four years.

  • The Changing Role of Fathers in the Workforce and Family

    As part of the lead-up to the White House Summit on Working Families, we’ve been exploring policies and best practices that help both families and businesses manage the increasingly complicated interaction between work and family-life. Today, Administration officials hosted a discussion—the first of its kind at the White House—on the state of working dads and how businesses can create a win-win culture to enable these fathers to be more involved parents and better employees.

    The need to rethink workplace policies to work better for parents is not just about working moms or women—working fathers are a key piece of the story as well. As the data compiled by the Council of Economic Advisers on “The Economics of Fatherhood and Work” show, the role of fatherhood has been changing with fathers taking a more hands-on approach to raising children. This change is both cultural and economic, with families responding to the reality of women’s increased role in the labor market. Nearly two-thirds of children now have either two working parents or a single parent who is working, contributing to the trend of father’s increasingly caring for children. Today, one in fourteen fathers with kids under 18 are single parents—a striking seven-fold increase since 1970—and dads are increasingly staying at home when their wives work.

  • The Employment Situation in May

    Job growth exceeded 200,000 for the fourth straight month in May, and businesses have now added over a million jobs so far this year. This month’s report continued the trend of steady job growth. While the consistent pace of job gains means the economy has come a long way in recovering from the Great Recession, the President believes that more can and should be done to strengthen economic growth and expand economic opportunity. Continuing to press ahead using his executive authority wherever possible, the President will hold events next week focused on ways to take action to improve college affordability and support working families.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 9.4 million jobs over 51 straight months of job growth. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, mainly reflecting a 216,000 increase in private employment, slightly above the 197,000 average pace over the last twelve months. The three-month moving average of 229,000 is the highest in over a year.