From our colleagues at our sister company, Argent Trust:
Announced this morning, the economy added 187,000 jobs in August, more than expected. The Health Care and Social Assistance industry was again relatively strong, while Transportation and Warehousing was relatively weak. The Unemployment Rate ticked three-tenths higher to 3.8% and the Labor Force Participation Rate at 62.8% is two-tenths higher than the previous month. Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% in August, slightly less than expected and lower than the previous month’s increase. Average Hourly Earnings grew 4.3% on an annual basis. In addition, Average Weekly Hours were 34.4, which is one-tenth higher than the previous month.
Overall, another increase in the headline jobs number coupled with a three-tenth rise in the unemployment rate. People who entered the labor force in the month likely had more difficulty finding work, given the cooling in job openings data earlier this week. Average Hourly Earnings moved a bit lower on a month-over-month basis, but the annual increase remains above the 50-year average and labor force participation picked up. Annual core inflation measures are still well above the Federal Reserve’s target, per the core PCE Deflator data released yesterday. Considering these dynamics, even if the Federal Reserve pauses rate increases in the coming weeks they are likely to keep tight monetary policy in place to ensure inflation moves closer to their goal.
Following the release of the jobs report, the yield on the U.S. 10-year treasury initially ticked lower but has recovered and 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.