December Employment Report Shockingly Good
We all complain that the media ignores good news. Well, today there was some really good economic news, so let's talk about that for a change!
Despite all the political shennanigans and distractions in Washington, and despite global flare ups, trade wars, and all manner of disturbing news, America continues to work. We all go to work, do our jobs, start businesses, buy homes, grow our families, and do all the things that result in the exchanges of money that ultimately power the economy forward. Sometimes it seems that despite its best efforts, even the most dysfunctional government can't get stop the American economic engine.
And we saw that today in the jobs report. The nations business and governments added (including upward revisions to prior months) over 300,000 jobs last month. I have no idea where all these people come from! On top of the large number of new jobs being created, wages and hours worked are increasing - though, importantly, not fast enough to raise fears of inflation. The job and wage growth of late has been widespread too, with increases across the economic spectrum.
Despite the continued sound performance of the jobs economy and the economy as a whole, most of my financial planning clients continue to be quite downbeat. Its as if we've been going through this more than decade long economic recovery constantly waiting for "the other shoe to drop" - but it never does. I admit to having been in that camp from time to time myself - but right now it is hard to deny that the U.S. economy is on a roll.
In surveys of small businesses, finding qualified workers is now the number 1 top concern. Isn't it great to have the number one economic worry in our business community be "how in the world can we find enough help to service all these customers?"
Those looking for a recession in 2020 are going to have to look really hard to find any signs. Of course, there are any number of potential catalysts, especially missteps on trade policy. But for now, America keeps chugging along. And of course, that is good for investors, and is good for people looking to improve their job prospects or incomes.