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The Morning View: February 5, 2021

Announced this morning, the economy added only 49,000 jobs in January, less than expected and only a slight improvement from last month’s negative result.  The Leisure and Hospitality industry was weak, losing 61,000 jobs in the month which follows a revised 536,000 jobs lost the previous month.  Government jobs showed a bit of strength as some education workers returned with lightened restrictions.  The Unemployment Rate fell four-tenths to 6.3%, when it was expected to hold steady, as some people left the labor force.  Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% in January and 5.4% on an annual basis.  Average Weekly Hours held increased to 35.0 in January.  Overall a weak headline jobs number coupled with a lower unemployment rate as some stopped looking for work.  The dynamics of the report highlight the strain on the Leisure and Hospitality industry and the need for additional activity in the economy, as vaccine distribution and stimulus efforts are progressing.  In all, bond yields ticked lower following the release of this morning’s data and equity futures are higher heading 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.