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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Monday, December 05, 2016

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for November 2016

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for November 2016:

Predicted: 55.5%
Actual: 57.2%

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The NMI® is a reliable barometer of the U.S. services sector; above 50% implies expansion, while a reading below 50% implies that the services sector contracted.

Service categories include: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation + Warehousing; Information; Finance + Insurance; Real Estate, Rental + Leasing; Professional, Scientific + Technical Services; Management of Companies + Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care + Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment + Recreation; Accommodation + Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment + Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning + Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

The previous month's non-manufacturing NMI reading was 54.8%.

Here's a sampling of comments from survey participants:

  •     "We had almost [a] 9 percent jump month-over-month on active, secured projects in our variable side of business. We also acquired new customers in [the] past two months."
    (Construction)
     
  •     "Looking to close out Q4 with no significant changes positive or negative. Profits overall have been above projections."
    (Finance and Insurance)
     
  •     "Our health plan business still continues to struggle with rising costs under Obamacare, which is causing the whole company to experience cost pressures."
    (Health Care and Social Assistance)
  •     "Current business conditions continue to be depressed more than desired; although, there appears to be slight improvement. As our business is primarily driven by the oil & gas market, we follow the price of oil fairly close."
    (Mining)
     
  •     "Outlook for Q1 2017 is looking favorable with Q4 2016 ending as projected, perhaps slightly lower."
    (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)
     
  •     "Increased sales for [the] holidays."
    (Retail Trade)
     
  •     "After the beginning of the fiscal year's flurry of orders, things have tapered off."
    (Public Administration)
Click here to view the complete ISM report


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Friday, December 02, 2016

ISM Manufacturing Index for November 2016

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for November 2016:

Predicted: 52.3%
Actual: 53.2%

Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country who are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for about 12% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The PMI is a reliable barometer of U.S. manufacturing: A PMI above 50% implies that U.S. manufacturing expanded during the month specified, while a reading below 50% implies that the made-in-the-USA sector contracted.

The previous month's PMI reading was 51.9%.

The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:



  •     "Raw materials have been rather flat. Ramping up for year-end and reducing inventory is main supply chain goal at this time."
    (Chemical Products)
  •     "Strong manufacturing numbers in anticipation of strong year-end bookings."
    (Computer and Electronic Products)
  •     "Business is still steady. We are foregoing our shutdown over Christmas break due to an increase in customer orders."
    (Plastics
    and Rubber Products)
  •   "Heading into 2017, our business levels look pretty consistent compared to 2016."
    (Primary Metals)
  •    "Sector remains strong, orders and forecasts are consistent and demand outlook is positive."
    (Food, Beverage
    and Tobacco Products)
  •     "New spec buildings going up in our area. Local companies adding additional production space which equates to higher employment."
    (Machinery)
  •     "Business conditions are good. Labor market is tightening such that it is difficult to staff to completely fulfill production demand."
    (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  •     "We are seeing an upswing in customer Requests for Quotations this month; this is a positive sign for our business."
    (Textile Mills)
  •     "Continued strong seasonal demand for product."
    (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
     
  •     "2017 is looking to be a very busy year."
    (Fabricated Metal Products)
Click here to view the complete ISM report

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Employment Situation Report for November 2016

The Employment Situation Report for November 2016 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +170,000
Actual: +178,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Predicted: 4.9%
Actual: 4.6%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 9.3%
Previous Reading: 9.5%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.116%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
Previous Reading: 62.8%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hours
Actual: 34.4 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

"...In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 3 cents to $25.89 [-0.116%] , following an 11-cent increase in October. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $21.73 [+0.092%] in November...

...The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +191,000 to +208,000, and the change for October was revised down from +161,000 to +142,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged
176,000 per month..." [Establishment Survey Data]

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* =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Construction Spending During October 2016

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for October 2016:

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.5%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Previous Month (revised): 0.0%

Change from 12 months previous: +3.4%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 26, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on November 26, 2016:

Predicted: 253,000
Actual: 268,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 251,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 251,500

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 91 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 25, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 25, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +30,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 488,100,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for October 2016

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for October 2016:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.3%

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Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%


The highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures) and Personal Income for the entire United States.

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.4%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%
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The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

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The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for November 2016

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (November 2016) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

Predicted: 101.0
Actual: 107.1  (Strongest reading since July 2007.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence improved in November after a moderate decline in October, and is once again at pre-recession levels,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. (The Index stood at 111.9 in July 2007.) 'A more favorable assessment of current conditions coupled with a more optimistic short-term outlook helped boost confidence. And while the majority of consumers were surveyed before the presidential election, it appears from the small sample of post-election responses that consumers’ optimism was not impacted by the outcome. With the holiday season upon us, a more confident consumer should be welcome news for retailers.'..."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

Last month, the CCI was 100.8 (revised.)

Click here to view the full Conference Board report.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Second Estimate for Q3, 2016

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "preliminary" (second estimate) report for the third quarter of 2016 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +3.1%
Actual: +3.2%

The highlighted percentage represents the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States (preliminary = second estimate.)  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

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Corporate Profits

Actual: +5.2% (After Tax; Y/Y)

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $133.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $12.5 billion in the second.

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Third Quarter GDP, Second Estimate
Third Quarter GDP, Second Estimate

  • On December 22, 2016, a "final" GDP report will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for the third quarter of  2016.


The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF). 

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 18, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 18, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +33,000,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 489,000,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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New Home Sales During October 2016

The October 2016 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: 590,000
Actual New Home Sales: 563,000

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Change from One Month Previous:  -1.9%

Change from One Year Previous: +17.8%

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Median Price for a New Home during October: $304,500

Average Price for a New Home during October: $354,900


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New Home Sales During October 2016
New Home Sales During October 2016

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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the monthly New Home Sales report measures the number of newly-built homes with committed buyers during the indicated month.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 19, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on November 19, 2016:

Predicted: 250,000
Actual: 251,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Last Week (revised): 233,000 (lowest level for initial claims since November 24, 1973.)

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 251,000

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 90 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report

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Durable Goods Orders During October 2016

The Durable Goods Orders report for October 2016 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: +1.5%
Actual: +4.8%

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  • Previous month, revised: +0.4%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +2.1%
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The  highlighted figure represents the month-to-month change in orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers. Examples of durable goods: cars, airplanes, computers, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure. The Durable Goods Orders report is produced by the Commerce Department.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Existing Home Sales During October 2016

The Existing Home Sales report for October 2016 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 5,420,000
Actual: 5,600,000

Change from Previous Month: +2.0%
Change from One Year Previous: +5.9%

Inventory: 2,020,000 (4.3 months supply)

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The "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for last month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During October 2016: $232,200
Change from One Year Previous: +6.0%

Average Price for A Used Home During October 2016: $274,300
Change from One Year Previous: +4.4%

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Click here for historical prices and a chart.


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Existing Home Sales - October 2016
Existing Home Sales - October 2016
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  • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.
Click here to view the full NAR report.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for October 2016

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for October 2016 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

The above numbers (highlighted) represent the month-to-month change in manufacturing, and physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 75.4%
Actual: 75.3

The Capacity Utilization Rate represents the use of available resources at mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States last month.

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Housing Starts During October 2016

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for October 2016:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,168,000
Actual: 1,323,000

Change From Previous Month: +25.5%
Change From One Year Previous: +23.3%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,190,000
Actual: 1,229,000

Change From Previous Month: +0.3%
Change From One Year Previous: +4.6%

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The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States,or about the American construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. This report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise --  and vice versa.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October 2016

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October 2016:

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Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.4%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%)

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Below is the CPI when food and energy are removed, also known as core CPI:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.1%)

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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)
Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 12, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on November 12, 2016:

Predicted: 257,000
Actual: 235,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 254,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 253,500

From today's report:

 "...[235,000] is the lowest level for initial claims since November 24, 1973 when it was 233,000..."
"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 89 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 11, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 11, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +5,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +35,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 490,300,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for October 2016

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for October 2016 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: 0.0%

Change from 12 months previous: +0.8%

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Below is the PPI-FD when food and energy are removed:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.2%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.2%

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The above, yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services, for goods, services and construction in the United States, for final demand.

Final Demand = personal consumption (consumers), exports, government purchases and capital investment.

The PPI-FD is released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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