WHAT TO WATCH FOR… Chamber Friday “On The Mark” 1070AM

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This month our theme is: “Was last month an anomaly?”  During the show, Chamber leaders will continue rolling out their 2019-2020 Strategic Plan.  These plan’s priorities are:
  1. Cost of Doing Business
  2. Workforce
  3. Technology
  4. Polarization

Sue Greene, Chair of the Chamber Board who is with the Penn State Executive Programs will be an in-studio guest with call-ins from Brian Elsaaser, of Wagner, Elsasser and Dreese, PC and from Andrew Miller, of the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors’ Bureau joining me for the On The Mark-Chamber Friday program.
At the top of the show, the U.S. government will release its March Employment Situation report which includes the national unemployment rate. The consensus of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal is that employers will report that they added 175,000 jobs during March with the unemployment rate holding at 3.8%. 
A report that meets these predictions will usher in our 102nd month of uninterrupted growth, the longest in US history.  More importantly, it will indicate that last month’s anemic report was just a bump along the road to a very long recovery.
In addition, economists are suggesting that wage rates will rise to 3.4% year-over-year.  This will be another indication that our on-going labor shortage is pushing salaries upward and that pay raises are happening organically.
Worthy of concern is the jobs report published earlier this week by ADP, known as the ADP National Employment Report®, noting that private sector employment gains continued their colling-off in March.  This report says that just 129,000 new non-farm private sector jobs were created last month.  Further, the ADP report shows specific job creation weakness among micro businesses (0-5 employees) as well as in the construction and the manufacturing sectors.
By workforce size, the ADP Report states:

Small businesses: 6,000 (1-19 employees: -9,000, 20-49 employees: 14,000)
Medium businesses: 63,000 (50-499 employees: 63,000)
Large businesses: 60,000 (500-900 employees: 15,000, 1000+ employees: 45,000)

By sector, the ADP Report states:

Goods-producing jobs: -6,000 

  • Construction at -6,000
  • Manufacturing at -2,000
  • Natural resources/mining at 2,000
Service-providing jobs: 135,000 
  • Education & Health at 56,000
  • Professional/business services at 41,000
  • Leisure & Hospitality at 13,000
  • Trade/transportation/utilities at 9,000
  • Information services at 11,000,
  • Other services at 6,000
  • Financial Activities at -1,000
So, how are we doing?
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry employment situation report for February 2019, reports a statewide unemployment rate of 4.0% a drop of 0.1%. According to the (workstats.dli.pa.gov) county-by-county report, three of our four counties continue to rank statewide among the 10 counties with the lowest unemployment rates and Northumberland County staying below 5% for the first time in decades: Union at 3.2% (-0.4%), Montour at 3.4% (-0.4), Snyder at 3.5% (-0.4), and Northumberland at 4.9% (-0.6)
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