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Labor Report

ACME Announces Store Closings in Philly Region

ACMEMalvern, Chester County, based ACME Markets Inc. has announced it will close three supermarkets in the Philadelphia region by June 8, including two in Montgomery County and one in Delaware.

Together, the King of Prussia and Towamencin locations employ 155 people, according to the Times-Herald, including many represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. The third closing will occur in Dover, Del. ACME has said it will offer all displaced workers positions at other locations, the newspaper reported.

ACME reportedly claimed that the three stores performed below expectations for “a number of years,” but the company did not disclose details. ACME has sold the properties it owned in King of Prussia and Towamencin. It did not own the Dover location.

After the closings, the company will have 51 remaining stores in Pennsylvania and 121 more in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Maryland.

ACME Markets Inc. is a subsidiary of Albertsons Companies of Boise, Idaho.

U.S. Labor Department Program Re-trains Displaced Workers profiled a pair of laid off GE Transportation workers who used the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, to obtain new vocational training from Mercyhurst University’s North East campus.

On May 12, Randy Post, 43, will graduate with an associate’s degree as an occupational therapy assistant while George Custard, 33, will complete his training as a medical lab technician.

TAA pays for job training and extended unemployment benefits for workers who lose their jobs because of foreign trade.

$82 Million of Work Headed to Allentown-area Mack Plant

A 1-million-square-foot Mack plant near Allentown has landed a five-year, $82.4 million contract to produce trucks and tractors for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and civilian federal agencies, according to the Morning Call.

MackTwenty-four hundred people work at the Mack facility in Lower Macungie Township, Northampton County, which is responsible for assembling all Mack trucks for the North American market and for export. The plant is owned by North Carolina-based Mack Trucks Inc., a subsidiary of Sweden’s Volvo Group.

In 2016, Mack announced a three-year, $70 million plan to expand and enhance the Lower Macungie plant. The investment contradicted speculation that Mack might relocate out of the area. United Auto Workers Local 677 represents employees there.

“Any money coming into the plant is a good thing,” Local 677 President Ed Balukas said. “I think some of the improvements they have in mind will make us more efficient and add toward the quality of product and position us for the next upturn in the trucking industry.”

April 2018 National Jobs Update

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in April 2018, down 0.2% from March 2018, marking the first time it has dipped below 4.0% since December 2000. Over the previous month, unemployment rolls fell by 239,000 individuals, with total unemployment dropping to 6,346,000. National unemployment statistics for the month are as follows:

  • Total Unemployment – 6,346,000
  • Change Over Month – DOWN 239,000
  • Change Over Year –  DOWN 675,000
  • Change Over Trump Term – DOWN 1,296,000
  • Rate Change Over Month – DOWN 0.2%
  • Rate Change Over Year – DOWN 0.5%
  • Rate Change Over Trump Term – DOWN 0.9%
  • Rate Change Over Obama 2nd Term – DOWN 3.2%

The decrease in unemployment rolls over the month caused the labor force to decline. The labor force is the total number of employed individuals combined with the total number of unemployed individuals actively searching for work. Growth in the labor force is a sign of a strengthening economy from more people working and/or more individuals searching for jobs. However, the national labor force fell by 236,000 individuals between March and April 2018, a combination of total employment* rising by only 3,000 individuals and total unemployment down by 239,000 individuals as noted above.
Year-over-year labor force growth in April 2018 stood at 1.346 million, above April 2017 year-over-year growth of 1.262 million, but still well below April 2016 year-over-year growth of 1.868 million under President Obama. Thus far under President Trump, the national labor force has grown by 1.8 million (Jan. 2017-Apr. 2018). While this growth is encouraging, continued improvement will be needed to match growth seen over President Obama’s second term.

  • Total Labor Force – 161,527,000
  • Change Over Month – DOWN 236,000
  • Change Over Year – UP 1,346,000
  • Change Over Trump Term – UP 1,809,000
  • Change Over Obama 2nd Term – UP 3,955,000

Non-farm* job rolls increased by 164,000 in April, short of economist projections of 190,000. Thus far, average monthly non-farm job growth under President Trump stands at 182,000, below average monthly growth of 217,000 seen over President Obama’s second term. Year-over-year, the national economy has added 2.280 million new non-farm jobs, its lowest level in the last five years (for the month of April) and 363,000 less than the 2.643 million jobs added year-over-year in the last April (2016) President Obama was in office. These are far from the levels expected from a President who criticized growth under President Obama and said that he would be the “greatest jobs President God ever created”. Employment statistics for the month are as follows:

  • Total Employment – 148,424,000
  • Change Over Month – UP 164,000
  • Change Over Year – UP 2,280,000
  • Change Over Trump Term – UP 2,728,000
  • Change Over Obama 2nd Term – UP 10,414,000

*Total employment for labor force provided by U.S. Census Household survey. The separate BLS Establishment survey measures non-farm jobs only.





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