BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 1,371,000 jobs in August, a bit more than expected. The Retail Trade industry was strong, while the Motor Vehicles and Parts industry was weak. The Unemployment Rate fell to 8.4%, from 10.2% the previous month, which was a larger fall than expected and workers did return to the labor force. Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.4% in August and increased 4.7% on an annual basis, both more than estimates. Average Weekly Hours were 34.6 in August which was one tenth higher than the previous month. Overall, a decent report as the labor market continues its improvement from the difficulties seen at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the economy still needs further improvement to fully replace the jobs lost earlier this year, the trend of a lower unemployment rate is welcomed, especially as the Federal Government struggles to negotiate terms on an additional round of stimulus and the election is in the not too distant future. In all, bond yields ticked higher following the jobs report and equity futures are mixed as we head into the market open.
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