According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, import prices increased by 0.5% in September. This breaks a recent trend, as the summer months saw import prices going down instead of up. However, an increase of half of a percentage point isn’t something to worry about quite yet. The effects of the new tariffs between the U.S. and China remain to be seen as the goods sold between the two countries adjust to increased taxes.
This increase was led almost entirely by higher fuel prices, which increased by 3.8% last month. Nonfuel imports such as food, industrial supplies, and finished goods had little or no change.
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Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics took a closer look at August unemployment. The average is still 3.8%, however that doesn’t tell the full story. Many metropolitan areas had an even lower unemployment rate, while others had it higher. In fact, 57 metropolitan areas had an unemployment rate that was lower than 3 percent. Most of these were across the Midwest, but there were others scattered across the country as well. There were only 5 metropolitan areas with an unemployment rate of over 7%, which were all in California and Arizona. The vast majority of metros had a rate between 3 and 5 percent.