January 4th 2019
Big Red Car here on a Jobs Report Friday. Hey, have a great weekend.
So, I was a little concerned about the December jobs report — because of the dipping stock market, the election results, the Fed’s moves, the general tenor in the air.
No reason to be alarmed, apparently.
Jobs report, Big Red Car? Give me the facts.
Here’s what happened:
1. Jobs exploded — 312,000 jobs were added versus a prediction of 176,000.
It is important to note the disparity because it shows you how poorly the forecasting capabilities of the American economist truly are.
2. November jobs were revised upward from 155,000 to 176,000.
3. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.4% which puts the economy on track to deliver a 3.2% increase for the year, considerably better than the rise in consumer prices. Best improvement in income since 2009.
4. The Labor Force Participation Rate rose by 0.2% from 62.9% to 63.1% — this means more people are rolling off the couch and rejoining the work force looking for work. This is a very important development as every person who is unemployed and then gets a job is a net add to the economic vigor of the country.
5. As a result of the additional workers looking for work, the unemployment rate went up from 3.7% (half century low) to 3.9%. If we had to choose between all time low unemployment and a rising Labor Force Participation Rate, let’s get more Americans working. That’s what grows the Federal receipts, the Gross Domestic Product, and adds vigor to the economy.
6. Hispanic unemployment hit an all time low.
So what, Big Red Car?
In 2017, the USA added 2,190,000 jobs.
In 2018, the USA added 2,640,000.
Do the math, that is a lot of jobs in a progressively better economy and with real wage gains in excess of the CPI and inflation.
This is being done at a time the stock market was showing some tired legs on its bull run, the Fed Chair was whispering about more interest rate hikes, the trade wars and tariff talk is bouncing off the walls, and the air in Washington DC is toxic.
The rest of the country doesn’t care. It just keeps rocking and rolling.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
OK, here’s the bottom line.
1. Huge job gains with increases in wages.
2. People rolling off Mom’s couch and rejoining the work force.
3. Good sector growth — the right areas are growing.
4. Fed Chair today says he will be careful on rate increases.
5. US has cut a deal with Mexico and Canada; now, sitting down with China next week.
It is a good time to be alive.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car, y’all. Be good to yourself this weekend. Polish your shoes and call someone who will be surprised you call them. 2019 is going to be GREAT YEAR!