Announced this morning, the economy added 678,000 jobs in February, more than expected. The Leisure and Hospitality industry was again strong, adding 179,000 jobs, as individuals came back to work especially at Food and Drinking places. The Unemployment Rate ticked two tenths lower to 3.8% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was slightly higher at 62.3%. Average Hourly Earnings increased 5.1% on an annual basis, less than expected, and Average Weekly Hours were 34.7, one tenth higher than the revised figure from the previous month. Overall, a strong report with a higher headline number and a lower unemployment rate. The labor market remains tight and does should not deter the Federal Reserve from their plans to tighten policy.
Meanwhile, tensions in Ukraine remain high as the Russian invasion unfolds. As Russia takes more control including reportedly seizing a nuclear power plant this morning, the members of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) continue to stand their ground while trying to keep diplomatic channels open and avoiding further escalation. The uncertainty has led to increased market volatility and higher commodity prices in an already high inflationary environment. We continue to monitor the situation and believe our current allocation recommendations are appropriate as we focus on medium-term outcomes.
In all, U.S. 10-year treasury yield ticks lower and equity futures are also lower as we head into the market open.
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