U.S. Economic News

August 9, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.7% in June to $599.4 billion.  Inventories were up 2.8% year-over-year.  Census Report
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 0.9% in Q2 after edging up 0.1% in Q1 (revised).  
In year-over-year terms, productivity rose 1.2%.  Hours worked increased 2.5% in Q2 and unit labor costs increased 0.6%.  BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. labor department issued over 160,000 temporary work visas in the first nine months of fiscal year 2017, up 20% from the same period a year before. As labor markets have tightened and crackdowns on illegal immigration have escalated, industries such as landscaping and agriculture have seen significant upticks in legal, temporary workers. WSJ
Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal writes that technological innovation that makes goods and services cheaper will heighten demand for those products, likely increasing jobs on net. Ip argues that while employment in some industries will suffer as a result of new technology like artificial intelligence, employment in other industries will benefit from new-found demand. WSJ