We consider a household job sensitive if at least one family member is actively seeking full-time employment (job seekers) or if the family is concerned that one of its members will be laid off within the next year (concerned).
By these measures, 54% of U.S. households are currently job sensitive, according to the Investor's Business Daily/TIPP Poll completed in late May (designated as June data). Job sensitivity rose from 50% in May to 54% in the latest survey.
Here are critical job-related stats from the survey:
- 43% have at least one member looking for a full-time job (job seekers)
- 34% are concerned that a member of the household may lose their job in the coming 12 months (concerned)
Job sensitivity has been steadily descending from its recent peak of 61% since November 2020. It posted a lower reading in five of the past seven months. Both the number of job seekers and the number of concerned households increased in June.
Why Is Job Sensitivity Important?
The May jobs report showed that the economy created 559,000 new jobs, 91,000 fewer than the market's consensus estimate of 650,000 new jobs. It comes on the heels of an April jobs report in which the difference between the consensus estimate and the actual numbers was the largest in history.
In May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent in April. For comparison, in May 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, unemployment was 13.3 percent.
Jobs are critical to the success of any economy. As we emerge from the depths of the pandemic, we want the economy to post robust job growth.
Households make significant financial commitments based on their confidence in their members' ability to earn money and continue earning consistently, ultimately affecting consumer spending. Healthy job sensitivity numbers reflect an environment poised for rapid economic growth.
The Overall Trend
The share of households with at least one member looking for full-time work has been hovering in a narrow band, bouncing between 41 and 43 percent since October 2020.
The average job sensitivity was 24% for the twelve months before the pandemic. Since March 2020, the average job sensitivity has climbed sharply to 54%.
In June, 26 of the 36 demographic groups we track had job sensitivity of 50% or greater.
On a positive note, even though job sensitivity climbed four percentage points in June, the percentage of concerned households has significantly declined from 46% in November 2020 to 34% in June 2021.
Many states have resumed normal operations, and by the Fourth of July, much of the country will be open with few restrictions.
Nearly one-half (46%) in our poll said that they are fully vaccinated, and another 17% have had their first shot.
Consumer perceptions have shifted significantly, and Americans are generally optimistic about putting the pandemic behind them.
As the economy reopens, it is creating new jobs and welcoming job seekers, and the employment situation is likely to improve in the coming months.
Australia's top diplomat says the Chinese government is "dogged by insecurity" and holds a "deeply defensive mindset."
The normally cautious Department of Foreign and Trade boss also said China had kicked a "massive own goal" when it last year issued a list of 14 demands to the Australian government to improve relations.
The list of grievances the Chinese embassy compiled against Australia included the government's criticisms of Beijing's activities in the South China Sea and human rights abuses.
The DFAT secretary said she believed the move backfired terribly, something highlighted by the way world leaders reacted at this month's G7 meeting in Cornwall.
Her speech came as a new Lowy Institute poll that showed more than 60 percent of Australians saw Beijing as an increasing security threat, responding negatively to Chinese investment in Australia and Chinese environmental policies, governance, and military activity.
Dozens of people have reportedly been killed or injured after Ethiopia's air force bombed a market in the northern region of Tigray.
Eyewitnesses told the BBC that the Ethiopian air force struck Togoga, 15 miles from the region's capital, Mekelle.
The Ethiopian military denied targeting civilians, saying it carried out the strikes to neutralize "terrorists."
Tigrayan rebel forces are said to have made advances in recent days. However, this has been denied by the Ethiopian government.
A medical doctor at Mekelle's main Aider hospital told the BBC that at least 60 people were killed and more than 40 were injured.
Medical personnel told Reuters the Ethiopian military blocked them from reaching the attack site to help others left behind.
A special visa program for those who helped the U.S. in Afghanistan will not get those eligible out before NATO forces leave by the September 11 deadline.
Despite unusual bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, the administration has not agreed to such a move, declining to publicly support something that could undermine security in Afghanistan as it unwinds a war that started after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, DC.
Legislators have urged the administration to consider temporarily relocating Afghans who worked for American or NATO forces to a safe overseas location while their U.S. visas are processed.
Guam’s governor recently wrote to President Biden to say the territory was ready to help if needed.
The Biden administration, for now, is focusing on accelerating a special visa program for Afghans who helped U.S. operations and pouring resources into relieving the backlog.
At a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea held last week, Kim Jong Un pledged to prepare for both "dialogue and confrontation" with the Biden administration.
"We are not considering even the possibility of any contact with the U.S., let alone having it, which would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time," North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said in a statement carried by state-run media.
North Korea is believed to have little intention to hold bilateral talks with the United States unless Washington withdraws what Pyongyang considers its hostile policy position.
However, some foreign affairs experts said Kim Jong Un might be keen to resume communication to receive U.S. economic aid, with the North Korean economy languishing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
U.S.-North Korea negotiations have been stalled for around 18 months, as they have fallen short of bridging the gap between Washington's demands and Pyongyang's calls for sanctions relief.
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