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The Morning View: July 2, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, the economy added 4,800,000 jobs in June, more than expected.  The Leisure & Hospitality sector saw the largest increase, while the Mining and Logging and Utilities industries were weak.  The Unemployment Rate fell to 11.1%, from 13.3% the previous month.  However, a misclassification error notes that the unemployment rate may be 1% point higher than reported.  Average Hourly Earnings fell by 1.2% in June more negative than expected, but it has increased 5.0% on an annual basis.  Both figures highlight the initial loss of jobs in low paying industries and those jobs starting to return.  Average Weekly Hours Worked moved two tenths lower to 34.5, as the fluctuating re-opening process continues throughout the country.  Overall, a strong report that continues the labor market rebound from the extremely low levels achieved during the pandemic.  While the increase is welcomed, with several states deciding to slow or re-adjust their opening process it may cause some additional volatility in the labor market in the months ahead.  In all, both bond yields and equity futures are higher heading into the market open.  We wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

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.