U.S. Employment Costs Increase 2.3% From A Year Ago

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment cost index for total compensation of all civilian workers in the third quarter of 2014 was up 2.3% from the same period the year prior. This growth rate is an increase from the 2.1% annual increase in the second quarter.

Civilian Compensation

Total compensation for private industry workers was up 2.3% year over year, driven by a 2.2% rise in wages & salaries and a 2.4% increase in benefits.

Private Compensation

Total compensation for state and local government workers was up 2.1% year over year, driven by a 1.6% rise in wages & salaries and a 2.9% increase in benefits.

Government Compensation

Disposable Personal Income Rises, Consumption Falls In September

U.S. disposable personal income increased 0.1% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $13.13 trillion. This increase follows a 0.3% increase in August, and leaves disposable personal income up 4.0% from a year ago.

DPI Change

Personal outlays for the month totaled $12.40 trillion, a 0.1% decrease, leaving personal outlays up 3.4% from the year prior.

Outlays Change

Income and Outlays Annual

Personal savings, which is disposable personal income less personal outlays, increased to $732.2 billion from $702.0 billion.

Income and Outlays

The personal savings rate increased to 5.57% from 5.35%.

Savings Rate

U.S. Q3 GDP Growth At 3.5%

Real gross domestic product increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter, the BEA published this morning. This was the initial estimate for Q3, and follows a growth rate of 4.6% in the second quarter.

Components of GDP by their contributions to GDP growth in Q3:

  • Personal consumption expenditures: +1.22%
  • Private investment: +0.17%
  • Net Exports: +1.32%
  • Government Consumption: +0.83%

GDP Contributions

Nominal GDP was at an annualized $17,535.4 trillion in Q3, while real (inflation adjusted, 2009 chained) GDP was $16,150.6 trillion.

GDP Nominal

Real GDP is up 2.3% from Q3 2013.

GDP Annual

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims At 287k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending October 25 were a seasonally adjusted 287k, up from the prior week’s revised reading of 284k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 270k.

Jobless Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):


The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 281k. That’s the lowest since May 2000.

Jobless Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.384 million, up from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.355 million.

Unemployment Insurance Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.80%, up from 1.77% the week prior.

Insured Unemployment

90.54% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered Employment

Of the 9.262 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.74% receive unemployment insurance.

Recipients as Share of Unemployed

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market

Falling Vacancy And Homeownership In Q3

The U.S. rental vacancy rate, which is the percentage of rental homes that are vacant, declined in the third quarter to 7.4%. Rental vacancy reached a peak of 11.1% in July 2009. It is currently highest in the South at 9.2% and lowest in the Northeast at 5.3%.

Rental Vacancy

The homeowner vacancy rate decreased from 1.9% to 1.8%. It peaked at 2.9% in January 2008. Currently, homeowner vacancy is highest in the South at 2.0% and lowest in the West at 1.5%.

Homeowner Vacancy

The homeownership rate dropped to 64.4% from 64.7% in the second quarter and 65.3% in the third quarter of 2013.

Homeownership peaked back in April 2004 at 69.2%, and has been in steady decline ever since.

Homeownership Rate

National Gasoline Price Falls To $3.17 Per Gallon In October

The average U.S. price per gallon for all formulations of regular gasoline was $3.17 during the month of October, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is down from $3.41 in September and the 2014 high of $3.69 in June.

Diesel fuel was $3.68 per gallon in October from $3.79 last month.


October Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence increased to a reading of 94.5 (1985=100) in October, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 89.0 in September.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 9.7 from 93.0, while the Expectations Index component increased to 95.0 from 96.4.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence, which had declined in September, rebounded in October. A more favorable assessment of the current job market and business conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Looking ahead, consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential. With the holiday season around the corner, this boost in confidence should be a welcome sign for retailers.”

CB COnfidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased to 86.4 in October from 84.6 in September.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Consumer Confidence