A look at today’s labor market report from our colleague at Argent Trust Company, Marshall Bartlett:
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.
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