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 October was $102.2 billion, representing a monthly increase of 2.2% from September and a 16.7% increase from October of the previous year. Figure 1 shows a table of other notable U.S. trade partners and their balances with the United States for October.
U.S. Census Bureau – International Trade Data
Section 2: Manufacturing and Goods Production
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. reached 12.93 million workers in November of 2022, a 0.1% increase from October and a 3.4% increase from November the year before. As of November, manufacturing employees accounted for 8.4% of the total United States workforce. Total construction and mining employees for November were reported to be 7.75 million (+3.3% YoY) and 0.59 million (+10.5% 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 October were reported to be $556.6 billion, a 1.0% increase from last month and an 11.1% increase year-over-year. Other notable product sectors were:
Primary metal manufacturing (iron, steel, and aluminum foundries) reported new orders of $20.3 billion for October, a 0.1% decrease from last month and a 2.2% increase year-over-year.
Computer and electrical products manufacturing (computers, communications, and electronic components) reported new orders of $39.3 billion for October, a 1.5% increase from last month and a 7.1% increase year-over-year.
Machinery manufacturing (engines, construction, and other machines) reported new orders of $24.3 billion for October, a 0.4% increase from last month and a 6.1% increase year-over-year.
U.S. Census Bureau – Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders Report
Section 3: Economic Overview
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 7.1% for November 2022. 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 November was reported at 3.7%. The unemployment rate did not change from last month. Employment in the labor force decreased by 138 thousand people, bringing the total employment in the labor force to 158.5 million for the month of November. 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 a $248 billion deficit for the month of August. 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. year-to-date.
Bureau of the Fiscal Service – Monthly Treasury Statement
Blue Collar Dollar Institute 2022