BCDI Data Newsletter – October 2023

Data ReleasesNewsletter
by
Blue Collar Dollar Institute
October 20, 2023

Section 1: U.S. Trade

The United States has historically run trade deficits (i.e., importing more than is exported) since the late 1970’s. This is largely due to U.S. trade deficits in manufactured goods. The U.S. goods trade deficit for the month of August was $94.5 billion, representing a month-on-month decrease of 1.6% from July and a 7.7% decrease from August of the previous year. Figure 1 shows a table of other notable U.S. trade partners and their balances with the United States for August 2023. U.S. Census Bureau – International Trade Data

Section 2: Manufacturing and Goods Production

Manufacturing Employment The number of employees gained or lost within the United States’ goods sector allows us to better understand the state of domestic manufacturing. Total manufacturing employment in the U.S. was reported at 13.0 million workers for September of 2023, showing an increase of 0.1% from August and a 0.7% increase from September of last year. As of this month, manufacturing employees make up 8.3% of the total United States workforce, following the historical trend of manufacturing accounting for less of the total workforce. Total construction and mining employees for August were reported to be 8.01 million (+2.8% YoY) and 0.60 million (+5.3% YoY), respectively. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment Situation New Orders of Manufactured Goods

New orders of manufactured goods shows the total intended number of purchases of a U.S. product, providing insight into the strength of the U.S. manufacturing sector. Total new orders for August of 2023 were reported to be $586.1 billion, a 1.2% increase from last month and a 0.5% increase year-on-year. Other notable product sectors were:

Primary metal manufacturing(iron, steel, and aluminum foundries) reported new orders of $26.6 billion for August, a 0.9% decrease from last month and a 2.7% increase year-on-year. Computer and electrical products manufacturing (computers, communications, and electronic components) reported new orders of $37.8 for August, a 0.5% increase from last month and a 0.2% increase year-on-year. Machinery manufacturing (engines, construction equipment, and other machines) reported new orders of $24.6 billion for August, a 1.2% increase from last month and a 1.9% increase year-over-year. U.S. Census Bureau – Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders Report

Section 3: Economic Overview

Inflation Inflation affects all facets of the economy, from consumer spending to business investment. The year-on-year growth rate of the consumer price index (CPI), a primary measure for inflation, was 3.7% in September of 2023. Figure 2 shows the historical CPI growth rate (YoY) figures for the past 12 months. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Monthly CPI Report

Unemployment and the Labor Force The unemployment rate for September of 2023 was reported at 3.8%, showing no change from last month and an 8.6% increase year-on-year. Employment in the labor force increased by 86 thousand people, bringing the total employment in the labor force to 161.6 million as of August. Figure 3 shows historical unemployment rates for the last 12 months. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Current Population Survey

National Budget Balance The U.S. budget balance was recorded as an $171.0 billion deficit for September of 2023. Smaller budget deficits (or growing budget surpluses) tend to be signs of a strengthening economy, when the government can collect more tax revenue and simultaneously spend less on social programs. Table 4 shows historical budget deficits and surpluses for the U.S. for the past year. Bureau of the Fiscal Service – Monthly Treasury Statement