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Employment Indicators

The major employment announcement occurs on the first Friday of every month at 8:30 am EST. This announcement includes the unemployment rate (the percentage of the work force that is unemployed), the number of new jobs created, the average hours worked per week, and average hourly earnings. Note: the work force is not the entire population; it is a subset of people that meet certain criteria. The unemployment picture is a key gauge of the health of the economy while the average hourly earnings figure impacts inflation. In addition to this monthly report, there is also a weekly report on initial jobless claims-the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. Though far less important than the monthly report, these numbers help to take the pulse of the job market. For the latest monthly report, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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