- US Labor Market Adds 156,000 Jobs in September
US labor market added fewer jobs than expected in September, as the number of unemployed people surged.
The non-farm payrolls added 156,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department report on Friday. Enough to still accommodate new entrants into the labor market.
The unemployment rate, which has been stuck at 4.9 percent since the spring, ticked up slightly to 5 percent.
For all the anxiety at home as well as turmoil abroad, like the “Brexit” vote in Britain, the American job machine continues to hum along.
Average hourly earnings ticked higher by 0.2 percentage point last month, bringing the wage gain over the last 12 months to 2.6 percent.
Before the report, economists had forecast a gain of 172,000 jobs in September. Although September’s figure was slightly weaker than expected, payroll gains in August were revised upward by 15,000.
To be sure, tens of millions of workers have barely felt the benefits of the recovery.
And despite robust hiring in late 2015 and during much of 2016, notable pockets of economic weakness remain, more than seven years after the start of the current recovery, especially in the oil industry and some industrial sectors.
In addition, the proportion of Americans in the labor force remains near 40-year lows, a sign that all those workers who gave up on finding work in recent years are only slowly trickling back to positions at malls, offices, factories and other workplaces.
In fact, those prime-age workers who have dropped out — what experts and policy makers at the Federal Reserve blandly term “labor market slack” — should enable the current pace of hiring to continue without much threat of overheating the economy.
“There are still plenty of unemployed people out there, enough for employers to continue to hire at a substantial pace,” said Michael Gapen, chief United States economist at Barclays.
“The expansion will end before you run out of labor,” added Mr. Gapen, who estimates the unemployment rate could drop to 4 percent by the end of 2017.
Those two contrasting realities — healthy hiring and falling unemployment on the one hand, millions of economically sidelined Americans on the other — sustain the narrative of the two main presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.
Whatever their spin, both candidates’ critique of the economy contain kernels of truth. Friday’s report, while generally strong, contained fodder for both.
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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