“THE BEST WAY TO APPRECIATE YOUR JOB IS TO IMAGINE YOURSELF WITHOUT ONE.” Oscar Wilde And unfortunately, last Friday’s Jobs Report indicated that many more Americans than expected are not just imagining themselves without a job, they truly are without a job.
The Unemployment Rate jumped up to 5.0% from 4.7%, and new job growth in December was reported at a paltry 18,000 jobs…with private-sector job growth actually falling by 13,000, the largest private sector drop in more than four years. And here’s an interesting note – Hourly Earnings actually moved higher than expected. While this seems somewhat contradictory to a slowing jobs number, perhaps it means that employers are attempting to save money by paying more dollars to fewer workers, rather than hiring more staff.
Many experts feel that even the lower than expected number of jobs created is an overstatement, due to averaging that is used by the Labor department, and that this number will eventually be revised lower. Job growth is a leading indicator of economic health, and the latest read points to a strong possibility of a recession in 2008.
Overall, the Jobs Report was much weaker than anticipated – and remembering that negative economic news is generally bad for the Stock market, but good for the Bond market – Bonds enjoyed some nice gains, sending home loan rates about .25% lower throughout the week.
RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE, YOU MIGHT BE HELPING LARGE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS COVER THEIR LOSSES FROM THE PRESENT FINANCIAL MARKET TURMOIL…