U.S. Economy

Major Economic Indictors

     Most Recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data


The CPI. Bureau of Labor Statistics graph.
    (RP News) - 12/24/2020 - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest summary of major economic indicators for the United States, as of Dec. 23, 2020, shows a slight bump in prices for urban consumers, as well as a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent. “These improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to COVID-19, though the pace of improvement has moderated in recent months,” the bureau states. 

    The bureau's most recent update and summary:

Consumer Price Index

    In November, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis; rising 1.2 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in November (SA); up 1.6 percent over the year (NSA).

Employment Cost Index

    Compensation costs rose 0.5 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from June 2020 to September 2020. Over the year, compensation rose 2.4 percent, with wages and salaries rising 2.5 percent and benefit costs increasing 2.3 percent. See: cost index

Employment Situation

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 245,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 6.7 percent. These improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to COVID-19, though the pace of improvement has moderated in recent months. See: employment situation.

Producer Price Index

    The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.1 percent in November, as prices for final demand goods increased 0.4 percent, and the index for final demand services was unchanged. The final demand index increased 0.8 percent for the 12 months ended in November.

Productivity and Costs

    Productivity increased 4.6 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the third quarter of 2020; unit labor costs decreased 6.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In manufacturing, productivity increased 19.9 percent and unit labor costs decreased 12.1 percent. See: productivity and costs

Real Earnings

    Real average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent over the month in November, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3 percent and CPI-U increased 0.2 percent. Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1 percent over the month.

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

    U.S. import prices rose 0.1 percent in November following a 0.1-percent decrease in October. Prices for exports advanced 0.6 percent in November, after rising 0.2 percent the previous month. Over the past year, import prices declined 1.0 percent and export prices fell 1.1 percent. See: indexes


Unemployment rate, 2000-2020. BLS graph

Illinois During the Civil War, 1861-1865: Politics During the Civil War

This video concerning the topic of Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War, comes from the "Illinois During the Civil War, 1861-1865" website (http://dig.lib.niu.edu/civilwar/), which is a creation of Northern Illinois University Libraries' Digital Initiatives Unit.