From our colleagues at our sister company, Argent Trust:
Announced this morning, the economy added 253,000 jobs in April, much higher than expected. However, the previous month’s figure was revised lower, tempering this month’s increase. The Health Care and Social Assistance industry was relatively strong, while Temporary Help Services was relatively weak. The Unemployment Rate decreased one-tenth to 3.4% and the Labor Force Participation Rate at 62.6% is the same as the previous month. Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.5% in April, more than expected, and is now 4.4% higher on an annual basis. In addition, Average Weekly Hours were 34.4 the same as the previous month.
Overall, another month of additional jobs for the economy exceeding expectations, coupled with a low unemployment rate. The revision to the previous month hints at a small amount of weakness, as seen in the increases in jobless claims and continuing claims in recent weeks. Even so, the labor market remains resilient, with a low unemployment rate, despite the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy substantially over previous months. While tighter policy has impacted parts of the financial system, such as some regional banks, and the economy, such as manufacturing, the labor market continues to hang in there. How long this resilience continues amidst tightening financial conditions will be closely watched in the coming weeks.
Following the release of the jobs report, the U.S. 10-year treasury yield ticks higher equity futures are higher as we head into the market open.
This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice, and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward-looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.