No Surprise, Labor Market Weakest in Energy States

February 22nd, 2016

This week we review the most recent unemployment claims data for the States.

No Surprise, Labor Market Weakest in Energy States

There were relatively few economic data releases pertaining to State and local economies last week.

The highlight of these releases was the weekly publication by the U.S. Department of Labor of Continuing Unemployment Claims by State.


Frequent readers will not be surprised that States with energy dependent economies have shown the worst deterioration in their labor markets. As we have pointed out before, employment in the energy states has been suffering since January ’15.


Hawaii was has been the best performer.  According to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the construction sector has been a large contributor to the improvements in Hawaii’s labor market.

For Florida, the strength was widely distributed.  Year over year employment growth was strong in professional and business services (+4.3%); education and health services (+3.8%); and leisure and hospitality services (+3.9%) sectors.

In North Carolina, the strongest sectors were professional and business services (+3.3%); leisure and hospitality services (+3.0%); and education and health services (+2.3%).

A recent blog post concluded that creative destruction has played a role in North Carolina’s labor market strength.  The post observes that while growth at young (1 to 10 years) and mature (11+ years) firms has been relatively flat, employment by new (<1 year) firms has been strong.


Source:  North Carolina Department of Commerce

How Old is U.S. Infrastructure?

The recently released 2016 Economic Report of the President devotes a whole chapter to “The Economic Benefits of Investing in U.S. Infrastructure”.  We found the chart below especially interesting.  It displays the average age of the U.S. infrastructure by type for the last 60 years.


Interesting to note that the Chapter also advocates for PPP’s and for the resurrection of Build America Bonds.


Have a great week,

Michael Craft, CFA