Announced this morning, the economy added just 194,000 jobs in September, less than expected, but the previous month was revised higher by 131,000. The Retail Trade industry was relatively strong, while Government jobs were weak, losing 123,000 jobs in the month. Additionally, the Leisure & Hospitality industry added only 74,000 jobs, much less than the hundreds of thousands per month earlier in the year. The Unemployment Rate decreased four tenths to 4.8% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was one tenth lower to 61.6%. Average Hourly Earnings is up 4.6% on an annual basis, as expected, and Average Weekly Hours were 34.8, which is slightly higher than the previous month. Overall, a very weak headline number, helped some by a positive revision to the previous month, coupled with a decent decrease in the unemployment rate. Impacts from the spread of the Delta variant remain apparent as jobs still haven’t returned to the Leisure & Hospitality industry, even as the extra unemployment benefits have expired. The Federal Reserve is likely on track to continue with tapering asset purchases starting in November, but the timing of rate increases remains uncertain. In all, the 10-year U.S. treasury yield ticks lower and equity futures are mixed 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.