Announced this morning, the economy added 467,000 jobs in January, higher than expected. The Leisure and Hospitality industry was strong, adding 151,000 jobs, while the Construction industry and Mining industry were both weak. The Unemployment Rate ticked one tenth higher to 4.0% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was slightly higher at 62.2%. Average Hourly Earnings increased 5.7% on an annual basis, more than expected, and Average Weekly Hours were 34.5, two tenths lower than the previous month. Overall, a surprisingly strong headline number with significant upward revisions to the previous month, coupled with a slight increase in the unemployment rate. The labor force participation rate in the low 60% range and elevated average hourly earnings both connote a tight labor market as businesses find it hard to find and retain workers. The degree to which workers return and virus concerns abate will be key for the labor market in the months ahead. The Federal Reserve is certainly on track to proceed with their policy adjustments and rate increases this year. In all, U.S. 10-year treasury yield ticks higher following the report and equity futures are lower as we head into the market open.
This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice, and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward-looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.