BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 661,000 jobs in September, less than forecasts. The Leisure / Hospitality and Retail Trade industries had increases in the month, while Government jobs were weak. The Unemployment Rate fell to 7.9%, from 8.4% the previous month, a larger decrease than expected. Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.1% in September and grew 4.7% on an annual basis. Average Weekly Hours were 34.7 in September which was one-tenth higher than the previous month. Overall, a mixed report indicating the labor market is recovering but remains under stress. Part of the issue in this report could be many schools delaying opening due to COVID-19, as those related jobs were not yet reflected in the workforce. Meanwhile, markets are digesting the news of the President testing positive for COVID-19 and its impact on the election process. Also, the willingness of people to begin traveling and consuming will be key to help key industries, municipalities, and ultimately the labor market improve in the months ahead. In all, bond yields are little changed, and equity futures are lower as we head into the market open.
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