Celebrating Small Business Saturday
Friday, December 13, 2013
Your Update from the White House Business Team
this week after the national memorial service in Johannesburg for former South
African President Nelson Mandela. President Obama offered his remarks at
the service, reflecting on what Mandela meant to him personally as well as to
the people of South Africa. You can read his remarks here.
here in Washington, the President delivered remarks about economic mobility in
America. President Obama and members of his senior team participated in
Small Business Saturday, highlighting the important role that locally owned
businesses play in our communities and in the economy. The Council of
Economic Advisors released a report showing the economic benefits of extending
Emergency Unemployment Compensation and; the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics
report makes it clear that the recovery continues to gain traction.
always, contact us with any questions or concerns at Business@who.eop.gov.
House Business Team
Marisa, and Sam
The President Addresses A Defining Challenge:
Growing Inequality and A Lack of Upward Mobility in America
On Wednesday in Southeast
Washington, DC,President Obama spoke aboutwhat he
called the defining challenge of our time: reversing a decades-long slope
toward growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility. It's a trend that has
jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain, the idea that if you work
hard, you have a chance to get ahead.
years after World War II, America built the largest middle class the world has
ever known, President Obama said.
wages and incomes were growing,” President Obama said"And because of
upward mobility, the guy on the factory floor could picture his kid running the
company some day.”
the late 1970s, this social compact began to unravel as jobs began to disappear
and our economic foundation weakened. Inequality started to grow, and it got
harder for children of lower-income families to move upward. Today, a family in
the top 1 percent has a net worth 288 times higher than the typical family. And
a child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or
near the top, while a child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than a
1-in-20 shot at making it to the top.
that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth
is heartbreaking enough,” President Obama said.
Watch the entire speech here.
President Barack Obama
delivers remarks on economic mobility during an event hosted by the Center for
American Progress at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus in Washington,
D.C., Dec. 4, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Celebrating Small Business Saturday
On Saturday, November 30th,
President Obama and Senior Administration Officials, along with millions of
Americans around the country, paid tribute to small businesses, which drive our
economy and help to define the spirit of our communities.
other Administration Officials, including Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett,
Attorney General Eric Holder, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and many others
celebrated Small Business Saturday by clicking here.
President Obama, Sasha, and
Malia shop for books at Politics and Prose —a local bookstore in D.C. (Official
White House Photo by Pete Souza)
New Report: The Economic Benefits of Extending
The United States economy
continues to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,
and while substantial progress has been made, more work remains to boost
economic growth and speed job creation. Far too many families are still
struggling to regain the foothold they had prior to the crisis.
The Emergency Unemployment
Compensation (EUC) program authorized by Congress in 2008 has provided crucial
support to the economy and to millions of Americans who lost jobs through no
fault of their own. Under current law, EUC will end on December 28, 2013.
that allowing EUC to expire would be harmful to millions of workers and their
families, counterproductive to the economic recovery, and unprecedented in the
context of previous extensions to earlier unemployment insurance programs.
See the entire report here.
America’s Manufacturing Sector Continues to
Show Momentum, Growing at Fastest Pace Since Early 2011
A core component of President
Obama’s agenda to grow the middle class is to make the U.S. a magnet for the
location of high-quality jobs – especially those that support manufacturing and
innovation. On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management released its
monthly purchasing managers’ index, which rose to 57.3 in November – the
fastest monthly pace of growth since April 2011, with all five components of the
index showing strength, including employment. The index has shown sector
expansion for six straight months and is on track to have its strongest quarter
To see more about Monday’s
report, and a brief recap from Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic
Council, click here.
The Employment Situation in November: Solid
Job Growth Makes It Clear That the Recovery Continues to Gain Traction
Friday’s jobs report was yet
another reminder of the resilience of America’s private sector following the
disruptive government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship in the first half
of October. Nevertheless, Friday’s jobs numbers show that too many Americans
who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer are still struggling to find
jobs. The President also continues to work to increase overall growth while
ensuring that growth is shared broadly in the form of higher wages and more
mobility, which is why he is fighting for a minimum wage increase and expansion
of educational opportunities.
Five Key Points in Friday’s
Report From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
resilientbusinesses have added jobs for 45 consecutive months,
with private sector employment increasing by more than 8 million over that
period.Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by
203,000 in November, with 196,000 of that increase in the private sector.
Private sector job growth was revised up for September (to 168,000) and October
(to 214,000) so that over the last three months, private employment has risen
by an average of 193,000 per month.
2. Real average hourly earnings
for private production and nonsupervisory workers rose 1.4 percent in the
twelve months ending in October, the largest increase since 2009, and today’s
data on nominal wages in November suggest that this growth likely
continued.These data signal that the recovery in the labor market continues
to progress, but are also a reminder that more work remains to boost not only
job creation but also earnings. The real wage growth observed in recent months
reflects both low inflation and a pickup in nominal wage growth, which
continued into November, when the average private sector production and
nonsupervisory worker earned $20.31 per hour, up 2.2 percent relative to a year
earlier (data on inflation and real wages in November will be available on
December 17). Looking over a longer period, real average hourly earnings for
production and nonsupervisory workers have risen on net only about 3 percent
since 1979 – a period when labor productivity rose by more than 90 percent.
These statistics underscore the importance of taking steps to ensure that even
as our overall economy continues to strengthen, those striving to get into the
middle class are not left behind.
3. While many retailers add
additional workers to accommodate heightened customer traffic during the
holiday season, the magnitude of holiday hiring differs substantially across
retail subsectors.The chart below shows the varying extent of seasonal hiring
by comparing the raw, unadjusted level of payroll employment in a given sector
to the seasonally adjusted level. Sectors with higher ratios can be said to exhibit
a more pronounced seasonal hiring pattern. In November, the overall retail
trade industry had 15,773,100 payroll positions (not seasonally adjusted),
which represents 15,320,500 positions on a seasonally adjusted basis – the
unadjusted level is about 3 percent higher than the adjusted level. For
clothing and clothing accessory stores, the sector with the most pronounced
holiday hiring effect, unadjusted employment was about 10 percent higher than
the seasonally adjusted level in November. In contrast, for building material
and garden supply stores, unadjusted employment was about 2 percent less than
seasonally adjusted employment in November – perhaps unsurprising, since cold
weather prevents Americans in many parts of the country from gardening during
the winter months. While the unadjusted data can provide interesting insights
into the patterns of our economy and society, the seasonally adjusted data are
the best benchmark of the economy’s progress. And crucially, the seasonally
adjusted data show that overall hiring in the retail trade sector has been
solid in recent months, with employment rising by an average of 36,000 per
month over the last six months.
4. While still unacceptably high,
the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 7.0 percent, the lowest in
five years, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ broadest alternative measure of
labor underutilization also posted a notable decline.The
"U-6” rate is the broadest alternative measure of labor underutilization
because it includes the unemployed, persons working part-time for economic
reasons, and those marginally attached to the labor force. This measure fell by
0.6 percentage point in November, the largest one-month drop on record
(following a shutdown-related increase in October), and also reached its lowest
level in five years. The concurrent improvement in the broadest official
alternative measure of labor underutilization is another signal that the labor
market is healing. The chart below shows that over time, these two series tend
to move in the same direction, but that the U-6 is always substantially higher
than the official unemployment rate in both recessions and recoveries.
5. All of the reduction in
unemployment in November was due to a drop in the number of short-term
unemployed, while the average duration of unemployment rose to 37.2 weeks and
remains markedly elevated.The median duration of unemployment has
come down from its peak of 24.8 weeks to 17.0 weeks in November, but the
average duration has not come down as much from its peak of 40.7 weeks. The
substantial gap between the average and median duration of unemployment
suggests that many of the remaining unemployed are concentrated at extremely
lengthy durations of unemployment. The additional weeks of unemployment
insurance offered as a result of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)
program first signed into law by President Bush in 2008 serve as an important
lifeline to those who are still struggling to get back on their feet in the
wake of the crisis. The critical need to extend the EUC program before it
expires at the end of this year is outlined inthis report, released earlier this week by the
Council of Economic Advisers and the Department of Labor.
See the entire report here.