TheGrio and CNBC team up to deliver a weekly report of money matters and market updates for our community.
CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:
Last week, the February jobs report dominated the news. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month at 9.7 percent. Construction and information services suffered the biggest losses, while temporary jobs were added. African-American unemployment dipped to 15.8 percent. Black teen unemployment declined to 42 percent, but still remains the highest of any group.
This week, investors prepare for retail, consumer sentiment, and labor reports.
We’ll get a different perspective on the labor market Tuesday, with the January 2010 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Dept. of Labor. The survey provides a measure of active, unfilled positions to compare against unemployment indicators.
December 2009 JOLTS results showed that employers were seeking to fill more than 2.5 million job openings in the US, with relative increases in state and local governments, and decreases in the Midwest. The national job openings rate has remained basically unchanged from March 2009 at 1.8 to 1.9 percent.
The February 2010 Advance Retail Sales report, tracking coming trends in food, clothing and auto sales, is due Friday from the Census Bureau. The January 2010 report showed moderate improvement in retail sales nationwide to $355.8 billion, a 0.5 percent increase month-to-month and a 4 percent increase year-to-year.
Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the Reuters/University of Michigan March 2010 Index of Consumer Sentiment. The February 2010 index of 73.6 represented a slight decline from January’s two-year peak as confidence dipped due to a weak labor market.
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