Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ended March 11 trickled down to an advance figure of 241,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s seasonally adjusted unrevised level of 243,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. The numbers remain below pre-recession levels, pointing to continued gains for the economy.
New unemployment claims are compiled weekly based on the number of workers who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.
“These are very good numbers indicating tight labor market conditions,” Daniel Sanabria of Comerica Bank wrote in a note.
Decreases in new claims are typically an indication of an improving labor market as fewer individuals are losing jobs.
Shares of Downers Grove-based career college chain DeVry Education Group Inc. have soared nearly 40 percent since the presidential election in November, and analysts see more opportunity ahead for investors.
Shares closed Tuesday at $33, after getting a bump last week from the March 6 U.S. Department of Education announcement that gainful employment regulation compliance and appeal deadlines would be extended until July 1.
The regulation requires career training programs to meet specified debt-to-income ratio requirements and to disclose employment outcomes for its graduates. Three DeVry University programs received failing ratings in the gainful employment report released in January.
The stock has more than doubled since setting its 52-week low of $15.36 in June 2016, shortly after Lisa Wardell, who previously served on DeVry’s board, took over as CEO.
The unemployment rate edged down to 4.7 percent in February, as 235,000 jobs were added during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The rate is a slight drop from 4.8 percent in January, indicating continued movement toward recovery from the 2007-2009 recession.
The biggest job gains occurred in construction, which increased by 58,000 jobs in the month. Private educational services, manufacturing, and health care sectors each saw gains of over 25,000.
Losses occurred in retail trade, which dropped by 26,000 jobs in February, following a gain of 40,000 in the prior month. Over the month, general merchandise stores reported job losses of 19,000.
Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in February, adding 37,000 jobs, including 5,100 in employment services. The sector has added 597,000 jobs over the year.
Los Angeles-based executive search firm Korn/Ferry International reported $23.9 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, in third-quarter earnings Monday, rebounding from a loss of $16 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter last year.
Korn/Ferry reported adjusted earnings per share of 53 cents, based on an exclusion of $8.6 million for restructuring, acquisition, and integration costs, representing 15 cents per share.
The consensus analyst estimate of adjusted earnings compiled by Bloomberg for the quarter ended Jan. 31 was a profit of 53 cents per diluted share.
Total revenue rose to $394.2 million from $358.9 million. Fee revenue was $381.9 million, compared with $344.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The 11 percent revenue increase was primarily due to the company’s acquisition of human resources consultancy Hay Group in December 2015, CEO Gary Burnison said on the investor conference call.
“After a full year of work, our integration activities related to the Hay Group acquisition are substantially complete,” Burnison said, adding that some remaining costs for office co-location and systems conversion are expected to be realized in the fourth quarter.
A bill under consideration in the Illinois legislature is drawing attention to a growing trend in today’s workforce: employers meeting long-term staffing needs by contracting with employment companies and temporary work agencies.
A contract company may handle a range of hiring tasks including recruitment, training, payroll, benefits, and other typical human resources functions. In providing services to its clients, a staffing service company may offer a form of “temporary” work in which a worker is employed by the agency and sent out to its clients on assignments, perhaps long-term.
Temporary employment accounted for 3.4 percent of the total workforce in Illinois in 2015, with 989 temporary staffing agencies operating in the state, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Milwaukee-based Manpower Group Inc. Tuesday reported a 2.8 percent rise in fourth quarter profit and virtually flat revenues that were adversely impacted by the strong U.S. dollar.
The global staffing firm, whose results can provide an early indication of what’s to come for the economy, reported net income of $127.4 million, or $1.87 per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $123.9 million, or $1.66 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.
The consensus analyst estimate compiled by Zacks Investment Research Inc. was $1.70 per diluted share.
A $7.5 million insurance settlement during the quarter added 7 cents per share to earnings, Chief Financial Officer Jack McGinnis said on the conference call with analysts.
“We had a very solid performance in an uneven and slow growth economic environment,” Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising said on the conference call.
The state unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent in December, 0.1 percentage point above 5.6 in November, and one percentage point above the national rate of 4.7 percent, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The preliminary data shows a higher unemployment rate for the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metropolitan area of 5.9 percent.
Illinois posted the largest decrease in nonfarm payroll employment of any state in the U.S., losing 16,700 jobs over the month of December, according to BLS data.
The U.S. economy ended 2016 in a better place than it started, and despite some concerns, economists remain optimistic for continued positive results under the incoming Trump administration.
A panel of financial experts shared their forecasts for the economy, the markets, interest rates and regulatory changes that are likely to impact investments and business decisions in the coming year with over 1,500 Chicago executives at the Annual Economic Outlook meeting of the Executives’ Club of Chicago Tuesday.
“I just don’t think there’s ever been a time where the installation of a new administration has created more economic uncertainty,” financial author Terry Savage, who moderated the discussion, said.
The uncertainty of the new administration that is days away, and the effects on taxes, regulation, immigration and other aspects of the economy have many business owners unsure what to expect.