Policy Points

22.12.2009 Policy Points Comments Off on NC’S Metro Economies

NC’S Metro Economies

The newest version of the Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor suggests that a fragile economic recovery is underway in most the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

The Metro Monitor tracks three of North Carolina’s metro areas: Charlotte; Greensboro-High Point; and Raleigh-Cary. By most measures, the economy of the Raleigh-Cary has outperformed those in Charlotte and Greensboro. Since early 2008, Raleigh’s gross metropolitan product has declined by just 0.4 percent compared to a 7 percent decline in Charlotte and a 7.3 percent drop in Greensboro. In the same vein, the Raleigh area has recorded fewer job losses and a smaller change in its unemployment rate compared to the other two.

Click here to view detailed profiles for all 100 major metro areas.

21.12.2009 Policy Points Comments Off on Around the Dial – Dec. 21

Around the Dial – Dec. 21

Economic policy reports, blog postings, and media stories of interest:

21.12.2009 Policy Points Comments Off on November Producer Prices

November Producer Prices

The seasonally-adjusted prices received by producers of finished goods rose by 1.8 percent in November, according to data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That same month, the prices received by sellers of intermediate goods rose by 1.4 percent, and the prices received by sellers of crude goods advanced by 5.7 percent.

At each stage of the production process, price increases were attributable to rises in food and energy prices, primarily energy prices. When energy and food prices are excluded, producer prices for finished goods actually rose by 0.5 percent in November. Absent energy and food costs, producer prices rose slightly for intermediate goods and fell slightly for crude ones.

Over the past year, producer prices have risen. Unadjusted prices for finished goods have grown by 2.4 percent, and producer prices for intermediate and crude goods have risen by 1.4 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.

The new data offer two insights into the state of the American economy. First, the findings suggest that demand for good and services remains weak, though not quite as weak as in recent months.  Second, the report indicates that inflation is not currently a threat to the larger economy.

18.12.2009 Policy Points Comments Off on Weekend Wonk Out

Weekend Wonk Out

A round-up of policy reports from the week ending on 12/18:

18.12.2009 Policy Points Comments Off on November Jobs Report: North Carolina

November Jobs Report: North Carolina

The November jobs report released today by the Employment Security Commission offers little proof that a labor market recovery is underway.

Last month, North Carolina employers eliminated 8,800 more positions than they added with private-sector employers responsible for almost all of the losses (-8,500 positions). Although the state’s labor market has alternated between periods of slight payroll gains and modest losses over the last four months, the fundamental reality is that North Carolina’s labor market is stuck in place.

In November, North Carolina employers shed 8,800 more positions than they added. The public sector lost, on net, 300 positions, and the private sector cut, on net, 8,500 positions. Among private industries, leisure and hospitality services eliminated the most positions (-4,800), followed by manufacturing (-3,900) and trade, transportation and warehousing (-1,000). Education and health services posted the largest numerical gain (+1,900), followed by construction (+800). Additionally, a downward revision to the October report led to the net loss of another 3,100 positions.

The consequences of widespread joblessness are reflected in November’s household data. Last month, the labor force grew slightly due to new entrants and the return of some discouraged workers. Nevertheless, the share of the population participating in the labor force held steady. Additionally, North Carolina saw the unemployment rate (10.8 percent) and number of unemployed individuals (487,631) remain fairly constant between October and November.

Click here to read South by North Strategies’ full analysis of the latest employment report.