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Have We Reached “The Tipping Point”?

In New York City between 1990 and 1999, the homicide rate dropped 73 percent, burglary 66 percent, assault 40 percent, robbery 67 percent and vehicle hoists 73 percent.1 Fascinated by the question of why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does, author Malcolm Gladwell wrote of this and many other instances in his 2002 book titled, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if a bunch of small improvements in our economy added up to a tipping point whereas growth and jobs and real estate values rose exponentially over the next year? Perhaps that’s a bit overly optimistic, but let me share some recent news that may just have the power to create a tipping point for our economy.

 

[CLICK HERE to read interview, “What is the Tipping Point?” at Gladwell.com.] 

1[CLICK HERE to read the report, “What Reduced Crime in New York City,” at the National Bureau of Economic Research, retrieved October 5, 2012.]

 

Jobs

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, boosted by 873,000 previously out-of-work Americans who found jobs. That’s the lowest rate in nearly four years. New revisions to previous jobs reports show that employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 previously reported in those months–indicating that better progress was happening all along. We just didn’t know about it.

 

[CLICK HERE to read the “Employment Situation Summary” at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 5, 2012.]

 

Manufacturing

Much has been discussed in the news particularly about manufacturing jobs, of which many were outsourced overseas over the last decade, much to the nation’s detriment. The September jobs report revealed 16,000 jobs were lost during that month. However, the Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) revealed that economic activity in this sector expanded in September after contraction throughout the summer months.

 

You can learn more about the role of manufacturing in this country from the Chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders Branch (commonly known as the M3 Survey) at the link below.

 

[CLICK HERE to view the presentation, “Manufacturing in the U.S.,” at Census.gov, October 2012.]

 

[CLICK HERE to read the “September 2012 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business,” at ISM.ws, October 3, 2012.]

 

Home-Based Work

On October 4, the Census Bureau also released a report on the increase of people working from home. Over the last 10 years, this demographic has increased by 4.2 million in the U.S. In some cases, the Great Recession has given rise to a nation of entrepreneurs, albeit by virtue of necessity.

 

But in many cases, companies are taking advantage of technology to decrease expenses and allow more employees to work from home. Nearly 10 percent of all workers work from home at least one day a week, according to the report. Interestingly, the survey also revealed that median household income was significantly higher for people who worked at home ($74,000) compared to people who worked onsite for their company ($65,600).

 

[CLICK HERE to read “Census Bureau Report Shows Steady Increase in Home-Based Workers Since 1999,” at the Census Bureau, October 4, 2012.]

When you consider steady income the one key factor that can boost home buying, consumer spending and investing, it does seem possible that a cluster of short-term but positive jobs reports could indeed be our tipping point.

 

If you’re feeling positive about your future income prospects, please contact us to help you get your money working harder for you.

 

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