Jobs Remain Strong
To begin this week’s labor data pandemonium, we have the first two reports that are able to shed some light on whether January was a fluke or a growing trend. Firstly, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS for short, depicted roughly 10.8 million openings for January in the nation. This is down roughly 410,000 from December, however, the number of openings still fairly exceeds the number of available workers. Currently, there are 1.9 job openings per every available worker, depicting a robust supply of jobs in the labor market. Furthermore, the actual figures for openings were roughly 180,000 higher than previous estimates. Nevertheless, the next piece of data came from payroll processing firm ADP, which released private payroll numbers for the month of February. What was found was companies added 242,000 workers to their labor forces, higher than the estimates of 205,000 and the previous month’s payrolls of 119,000.
Recently, talks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell really depicted the importance new data will have on the size of the next interest-rate resolution; these new labor projections have sprinkled indications that are confirming fears, fears that show a growing economy amidst rises in interest rates. Regardless, there is a chance these reports can be undermined; later this week, both nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate will release for the month of February, either confirming a truly tight labor market, or showing the strength interest rates have had in reducing inflation.
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I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.