The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

A common complaint and cause of frustration and irritation for interviewees is the absence of feedback after their interviews. It wasn’t always like this. In the past, it was standard protocol to provide feedback and constructive criticism to candidates. The hiring manager or human resources professional would diplomatically let the applicants know what they did well and the areas in which they need to improve upon.

The feedback was freely given with the best of intentions. The advice would consist of some positive aspects and, when justified, helpful critiques of the candidate—with respect to their skills, relevancy of their background and performance within the interview sessions. This would prove extremely helpful and productive if the person was invited back to partake in additional interviews. Even if the job seeker was turned down, they’d be provided with guidance so that they could perform better when they interview again somewhere else. The candidates could advantageously implement this vital information and constructive criticism.

This information relayed to candidates is important for them to conduct a self-assessment to ensure that they are presenting themselves in the best possible light. It’s similar to a batting coach in baseball who helps you improve upon your swing. His advice may not always be positive, but the goal is to make you a better baseball player.

Unfortunately, time’s have changed and this no longer applies to the present. In the current job market, feedback is offered sparingly—if at all. There is little-to-no feedback or constructive criticism offered. If you’re not accepted to proceed in the interview process, it’s rare to get a rejection letter or receive any input and advice from the company as to why you were unceremoniously passed over.

All the niceties and politeness are gone. You will now only hear from human resources if they want to move forward with you; otherwise, you get the silent treatment.

Here is why this happens.

Too Much Data

There has been a rapid proliferation of job boards, job aggregation sites (like Indeed and Glassdoor), Google for Jobs and corporate career pages. In addition to the ubiquity of jobs posted everywhere, everyone has a smartphone with them at all times. This combination makes it easy to search for jobs and easily apply. Many job seekers take the not-recommended approach of submitting their résumés for dozens of jobs—a large portion of which they’re not suited for, but want to give it a shot nonetheless.

Corporate talent acquisition and human resources professionals are deluged with résumés. Even with the applicant tracking systems that corporations have, it’s too much to handle. It becomes virtually impossible for the company to get back to everyone who submits their résumé. You may get a canned email response to your résumé or applications, but that’s about it. Don’t expect any meaningful color on whether or not you’re deemed a good fit for the job or company.

Fear Of Lawsuits

In today’s litigious society, companies are concerned about saying anything at all to candidates that could possibly be misconstrued. They are especially scared to give negative feedback to candidates out of fear that it might be misinterpreted as discrimination.

Something relatively innocuous said by an interviewer could be interpreted as sexist, ageist, racist or any other form of prejudice. Corporate executives are deathly afraid of costly, time-consuming lawsuits ensuing.

There is also the concern over a social media backlash because of something an employee said to a candidate. All you need is one disgruntled, denied job seeker to post his or her outrage on Twitter and it could go viral—irreparably damaging the company’s reputation. Not offering any feedback is a safer legal and public relations strategy for the company.

Stalling For Time

There is a belief by corporate executives that there is an abundance of qualified candidates. They erroneously believe that if the HR department waits longer, they will eventually find the perfect person suited for the role for a cheaper price.

They’ll keep you hanging on in suspense. The company doesn’t furnish you with an answer about your candidacy or offer a critique because you’re technically still in the running while they’re secretly holding out for a better candidate. They don’t want to say anything to make you bail out of the running—since they want to string you along and may ultimately want you if nobody better comes along. This is also a big reason why some interview processes tend to take so long.

Downsized HR Departments

The financial crisis wreaked havoc on all corporate departments, especially non-revenue-producing ones like human resources. Senior-level—higher salaried—HR people were downsized and replaced by more junior personnel.

Technology has also displaced many HR professionals. So, now there are fewer HR employees dealing with considerably more work. They simply don’t have enough time to respond to you and provide an evaluation and assessment of your talents.

New Expectations

The current generation of HR people only know the new, no-feedback milieu and perpetuates the status quo. This is a generalization, but many younger professionals are not comfortable picking up the phone and holding conversations with candidates, especially if it is not good news. They are equally uncomfortable holding a one-on-one conversation with a job seeker telling them that they’re not getting the job.

Third-Party Outsourcing

It has become a trend for companies to outsource their recruiting functions to third-party vendors. In this HR model, recruiters employed by another organization—who are kind of like mercenaries—are placed on the premises of many different clients. These are usually short-term stints. These types of recruiters, as you can imagine, have no vested interested in providing feedback to candidates, since they’ll be somewhere else in a couple of months.

Rudeness

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but we are living in a time period in which people are not that nice to one another. It’s become the norm to be rude and ghost candidates.

We’re in a tight job market and companies complain that they can’t find people to fill their job openings. Their laments are ironic and tone-deaf as their very own actions of denying feedback alienates, discourages and blows off potentially perfect candidates.

Follow me on LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

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Job Search Strategies and Techniques – How To MASTER Your Job Search • FREE Sample Resume Template – The 6 Second Resume: https://heatheraustin.online/free-res… Ready to take it to the next level? Get the Career Advancement Toolkit TODAY: http://careertoolkit.win/ Have you submitted your resume and cover letter countless times and you still don’t have the job offer you’ve been waiting for? Are you looking for strategies that will accelerate your job search and help you land your dream job. If so, tune in, because in this video, you’ll learn 5 job search strategies that will help you tap into your professional network and fast track your job search. Watch this video to learn how to master your job search. The 5 job search strategies you’ll learn include: 1 – Use LinkedIn to network with others in your industry. 2 – Get your career documents ready. 3 – Develop your 30-second elevator pitch. 4 – Conduct Informational interviews. 5 – Follow-up. Videos I promised to share: LinkedIn Job Search Tutorial 2018 – How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Job https://youtu.be/Ox_ohqsIMAM Elevator Pitch Example – How To Create A Personal Elevator Pitch https://youtu.be/wVYyCUwDFhE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE VIDEOS LIKE THIS: https://goo.gl/WB86Ta Share this video with a friend: https://youtu.be/h_04pmxmHQc Join other professionals just like you striving to land higher-quality career opportunities: #TheCareerClub on Facebook – a private community: http://bit.ly/TheCareerClub CONNECT WITH ME: • https://www.professoraustin.com/https://www.instagram.com/professor_a…https://www.facebook.com/ProfessorAus…https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-a… For more videos on how to improve your #jobsearch: Job Hunting Tips – Fastest Way To Get A Job | Job Hunting Secrets | https://youtu.be/UD1ps4HU9Do Executive Job Search – 7 Steps to Land a Senior Management Job | Linda Raynier | https://youtu.be/EkP8Oc0Fl38

Struggling to Find the Perfect Job Candidate? How to Overcome the Vicious Circle of ‘Experience Inflation’

Even though STEM programs have grown increasingly popular, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are than 700,000 unfilled IT jobs in the U.S.

Partly that’s because over 60 percent of entry-level jobs require more than 3 years of experience. The resulting “experience inflation” creates a vicious circle: New college graduates need experience in order to get hired… but without getting hired, they can’t get the experience necessary to qualify.

That’s a problem Talent Path is working to solve.

Talent Path hires STEM grads who are struggling to land their first gig, identifies the gaps on their resumes, and connects them with technology and IT organizations so they can gain work experience.

But they don’t work for free; during the “consulting” phase grads are paid a salary by Talent Path — and naturally, since the consulting phase is in effect a really long interview, are often hired by the tech company they are working for.

The Talent Path approach is a clever solution to a widespread problem. So I spoke with Jeff Frey, the Managing Director at Talent Path, to find out more — and to learn how you might apply a similar approach to your business.

I’ve worked with staffing companies before, but they always sent resumes for people they felt were “ready.” The idea of helping develop a potential candidate wasn’t on the table.

For higher level positions, that makes sense. But while there is a huge client demand for entry-level talent, there is also a real shortage in terms of what employers look for.

Education only goes so far: Many bright students get bounced out of the hiring process simply because they don’t have experience.

So we’re in the middle: We find those individuals, hire them directly, and pay their full salary and benefits. Then their job is to learn: First we take them through our training program, then place them with a client… and then we stay in their lives for at least six months while we continue to mentor them.

Just throwing them into the pool after some lessons, and hoping they will swim, wouldn’t be such a great idea.

Mentoring is crucial. We can help them navigate workplace dynamics, develop any other skills they need…

Companies love it, if only because it’s extremely low risk: If for some reason they don’t fall in love with one of our folks, they can swap them out. And if they do fall in love with the person they can hire them directly.

It’s very low risk with a potentially high reward.

Explain the business model.

Sometimes the people we train are coming out of school, sometimes they’re career-changers or military veterans. We pay their full salary and benefits at a competitive rate, give them a laptop, provide training… basically, we go into debt. (Laughs.)

Then, when we place them with a firm, we charge the company a bill rate that is slightly more than what we pay the individual. If the client keeps that person long enough to reach the break-even point they can hire them directly. If they hire them earlier, we calculate the difference.

In short, we’re a for-profit company, but we feel a lot like a non-profit. We get to help people launch their careers, and help companies find the talent they need.

But I suppose I could bring in a consultant; then I wouldn’t — at least in theory — have to worry about the learning curve.

Keep in mind the average consultant often makes twice as much as an employee. And if you like that person, their agreement with their consulting firm precludes you from hiring them.

In effect, a company can bring in two of our people for the same cost, invest in their development… and then hire them if they choose.

Clearly it works: Over 90 percent of the companies who take in an individual later ask for at least one more. Nearly every company we work with is a “repeat buyer.”

Also keep in mind many companies aren’t well equipped to deal with entry-level talent, and to help them embrace the company’s culture. Our job is to find the right cultural fit, the right skills, provide the right training to bridge any gaps… that’s something tech and IT organizations, especially smaller ones, may not have the skills — or the time — to effectively do.

Which means your training has to be both core and bespoke.

True. Fortunately we have enough client feedback, we know enough about the marketplace and trends and skills required… we know the foundational skills and attributes.

But then you have to look at what a company considers its ideal candidate: Tech skills, business acumen, soft skills, and emotional intelligence.

All of that creates a clear line of sight from who we get, to what we do, to how we place.

Is emotional intelligence a major gap?

Emotional intelligence is huge. Sometimes that means helping people adapt to the interpersonal dynamics of a particular workplace.  And sometiems that means helping people understand their own wants and needs and how to adapt to a workplace.

I literally just had someone in my office today say, “This is my first real job, and this is what it’s like…” we often provide a shoulder to cry on or a little tough love. (Laughs.)

Plenty of longitudinal studies show emotional intelligence creates better outcomes for a business. So that is definitely part of our curriculum, both for the benefit of the company and the employee.

Unfortunately, none of that gets taught in school. So we place people in different situations so they don’t just learn about it… but can experience it, too.

So if I’m a company that struggles to find entry-level employees?

Find ways to bridge the gap between what candidates can currently offer and what you need.

That’s not a new problem; it’s one staffing and placement agencies constantly struggle with. Sourcing may find an amazing individual… but that person may not align on the client side.

How do you bridge the gap between your needs and employee suitability? In most cases, those gaps won’t be skills-based. Determine what is missing: presentation skills, basic leadership skills, basic business acumen… and create a training plan to provide those skills.

That way you can hire great people who possess the talent you must have — and develop the ancillary skills they also need.

In effect, that’s what you already do — so make it a part of how you run your business.

By Jeff Haden Contributing editor, Inc.@jeff_haden

Source: Struggling to Find the Perfect Job Candidate? How to Overcome the Vicious Circle of ‘Experience Inflation’

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Emma Rosen made the bold decision to give up her job and take a radical sabbatical in pursuit of her perfect career. She spent a year trying 25 careers before turning 25 through short term work experience, shadowing and just giving things a go. She completed the challenge, and finished all 25 placements before her 25th birthday in August 2017. Emma spent a year trying 25 careers before turning 25 through short term work experience, shadowing and just giving things a go. She completed the challenge, and finished all 25 placements before her 25th birthday in August 2017. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

The Do’s and Donts of Starting A New Job

Regardless of who you are or where you’re at in your career, the process of starting a new job can be a scary thing to go through. After all, you’ll not know anyone to begin with. You’ll have no idea how you’ll fit into the team dynamic, and you’ll probably feel completely out of your comfort zone. It’s this fear of the unknown which makes it easy to convince yourself it’s all going to be terrible.

I’m here to tell you it won’t be. While nobody likes to be left in the lurch, starting a new job should be more exciting than it is terrifying. It’s a chance to show your new employer what you can do while building on your skillset to shape the career you want to have. Even being offered the job in the first place should give you the confidence that you’ll be a good fit for the team – your employers are the ones who chose you, after all.

Nonetheless, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to starting a new job. We discuss each one of these below, helping you settle your nerves before you get going.

Do: Go in thinking it’ll be great

The most important thing you can do when starting a new job is to go in with the right attitude. Thinking it’s going to all go wrong is an incredibly negative way of thinking, and will come off that way to your colleagues.

For all you know, your new employer could have a special gift waiting for you, or a specially-tailored induction plan to welcome you to the team. Employers know what it’s like to start a new job, so they’ll want you to be as comfortable as possible straight away. Don’t go into it expecting the worst. Start your new job with your head held high and an attitude that clearly shows you’re happy to be there.

Don’t: Expect to know everything straight away

Nobody is expecting you to know everything right off the bat, so don’t put pressure on yourself by expecting to excel at everything straight away. Each of your new colleagues will have gone through the same situation as you and will be able to sympathise with how scary the process can be.

The most important thing for you to do is to maintain a good level of confidence, avoid coming across as arrogant, and show a keen willingness to learn. It’s inevitable you’ll make a mistake or two in the beginning stages, so don’t worry if you do – your employer will understand. In fact, they may actually be impressed that you took accountability for your wrongdoings and understood where you went wrong.

Do: Be polite

It may seem obvious but the more well-behaved you are, the better it’ll come across. As the old saying goes, ‘manners cost nothing’, so be polite to your colleagues and peers. It’ll make it all that more likely they’ll reciprocate the same feelings back to you.

As a general rule, first impressions count for a lot, so make sure you come into your new job with a positive attitude. Likewise, make sure you get to work on time each day, work hard, avoid desktop distractions (yes, that includes your phone), and make an effort to be friendly with your new colleagues. The quicker you get to know them, the sooner you’ll start feeling more comfortable.

Don’t: Over-promise

It can be all too easy to over-promise when you’re new, attempting to impress your new boss as quickly as you can. However, even though your attention may be good, putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, by promising to deliver a task you have no idea how to do, is generally a pretty bad idea.

If you’ve just come into a leadership position, for example, don’t go sucking up to your peers straight away. Learn and observe on the job, get to know the people you’re working with, and take the time to listen to their opinions. The more obvious you make it that you’re trying to help, the more welcoming they’ll be to you.

Do: Write things down

There’s a lot of new information to take in when starting a new job so write it down. Whether it’s passwords and login details for a particular software, or just a quiet note or two about how the company functions, being able to look back and quickly remind yourself will help no end. Not only will it demonstrate your interest, but it’ll also mean you won’t need to pester colleagues when you forget something you’ve already been told.

It’s also important to do this from a health point of view. Studies have shown that writing things down helps to alleviate stress and anxiety, which you’ll likely be feeling during your first day of work.

Final thoughts

There’s no denying it – starting a new job is one of the most overwhelming, life-affirming processes you can go through. However, it doesn’t have to be as nerve-wracking as you think it’s going to be. You should embrace the fresh start and the fact that your new employer has seen something in you that makes them think you’re going to be great.

Remember that starting a new job is something literally everyone goes through and, perhaps most importantly, remember you won’t be the newbie forever.

Annie Button

Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications and specialises in business and career development.

Source: The Do’s and Don’ts of Starting A New Job – People Development Network

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HOW TO MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION ON THE JOB – 6 TIPS ➡️ Get your brand new, impressive, Top Notch Resume here: https://topnotchresume.lindaraynier.c… ➡️ Get private career coaching from Linda here: http://www.lindaraynier.com/standoutg… ➡️ Get your brand new, Strategic Cover Letter here: https://www.lindaraynier.com/strategi… ➡️ ‘Top Notch Interview’ is coming soon! For enrolment updates: http://www.jointni.com ________________ In this video, I’m going to explain how to make a good first impression on the job if you’re just starting a new job or with a new employer/company. If it’s going to be your first day on the job and you want to make an impression with your boss and co-workers, it’s important to know these 6 tips that I have to share with you. These aren’t only tips for first day of work or first day on the job, but also the first few months as you’re starting a new job and wanting to make a positive impression. This video explains the 6 tips to enhancing your changes of making a good first impression on the job. 1. Spread your positive energy 2. Figure out the lay of the land 3. Ask good questions 4. Do your work well 5. Don’t be too demanding from the onset. 6. Don’t try to be too sweet. —– FREE DOWNLOADS: ⬇️ Download my FREE Resume Samples PDF document here: https://bit.ly/2vjNwMM ⬇️ Download a copy of my 10 Ultimate Resume Hacks to Land more Interviews and Job Offers PDF here: https://bit.ly/2JRQR93 ________________ Interested in getting personally coached by Linda to enhance your personal brand, advance your career and/or land your dream job? ➡️ Click here: http://www.lindaraynier.com/standoutg… and fill out the application form. If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up 👍, subscribe, share it with your friends. CONNECT WITH ME: Website: https://www.LindaRaynier.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindaraynier/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindarayn… Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/lindaraynier For other similar videos, see: How To Make A Kickass First Impression | 5 First Impression Tips alpha m. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c-7k… How to Make a Good First Impression | Good Manners Howcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq3Y7…

If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

We spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. Given just how much time, energy and effort we expend in our jobs, it’s reasonable to want to hold one that offers us a sense of purpose and meaning.

You should strive to pursue a job or career that offers the chance to be challenged. Pursue work that is meaningful, intellectually challenging and spiritually rewarding. Find a job that enables you to help others, promotes positive change and serves a higher purpose. You want to ensure that your work is aligned with your core values and principles and could possibly make the world a better place.

I understand that these are lofty, aspirational goals. It is rare to find work that offers a sense of purpose. In fact, it’s more likely that your job won’t offer intrinsic, meaningful rewards. You may enjoy the fact that your job is associated with a social status that people find impressive or that it helps you earn a nice living, but somehow, you still feel that something is missing.

If you feel that there is a lack of purpose in your career, you can choose to make a change.

This change does not require you to seek out an entirely new role at a different company, especially given the current job climate. Although the U.S. has record-high employment, the trends that we are seeing play out in hiring now are not conducive to favorable outcomes for prospective job seekers. In fact, badly mistreating job seekers has become commonplace 

Instead of taking grave risks by walking away from your current employer, you can simply make waves by crafting your job to find optimal meaningfulness—the degree of significance an employee believes their work possesses. Job crafting is the process of redefining and reimagining your job design—tasks and relationships assigned to one person in an organization—to foster job satisfaction and bolster employee engagement and performance.

As you aim to redefine your purpose within the company, you should focus on your motives, strengths and passions to help you get there. What energizes you? What exhausts you? To add personal touches to your work, visualize your job, lay out its components and reframe them to better suit you.

You can start your journey with small incremental changes that add up over time. Here is what you should do now to start.

1. Recognize that, with any job, there will be monotonous unglamorous tasks. Even the CEO has to deal with canceled flights, late Ubers and surly underlings.

2. Accept that there will always be a certain percentage of responsibilities that may not change and focus on the things that you do have the power to change.

3. Ask to speak with your boss to discuss your goal of  job crafting, with respect to your responsibilities.

4. Work with your manager to create new responsibilities that provide you with purpose and meaning. Take proactive steps to redesign elements of what you do at work. For example:

  • If you are an accountant, you could suggest starting a unit that caters to charitable organizations.
  • If you are an attorney, you could request to do pro bono work to help immigrants.
  • If you are a stock broker, you could offer discounted advice to parents with college-bound students.

5. Offer to mentor junior staffers, or seek out a manager-level role to unlock your untapped potential.

6. Ask to attend meet-ups for people who are unemployed or seeking work, as you could offer career advice—or maybe you have a job for them.

7. Change your mindset regarding your responsibilities. If you are a janitor at a hospital, for example, try and see yourself in playing a role in curing people’s illnesses.

8. Delegate certain responsibilities that don’t fit your skill set and rob you of your enthusiasm, and ask for assignments that you feel are a better match.

9. If you are at a desk all day long and desire interaction with others, ask about opportunities to get out in front of clients.

10. If you feel overloaded with small tasks that take you away from the more important matters you enjoy, request to shift this work to a more junior-level staffer. You may have mastered your job and require more challenging assignments.

Companies stand to gain a lot by enabling job crafting within an organization. Employees are empowered by being awarded the reins to steer their own careers. Job crafting ensures employee retention and will elevate even the weakest of links by molding tasks to their strengths and passions.

Employees who execute job crafting often end up more engaged and fulfilled in their work lives, achieve higher levels of performance in their companies and obtain unrivaled personal gratification.

You will be viewed in a positive light—seen as engaged, re-energized, loyal and dedicated. Your boss will respect your desire to pursue new meaningful work. In a hot job market, management will welcome a person who desires to stay with the company and improve themselves. You could serve as an example for others to follow, thereby making additional employees feel empowered and dedicated to the company.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 7 for Day 8.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 6: Understand how you fit.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

iStock

That sound you’re hearing might be a sigh of relief from investors reacting to this morning’s monthly payrolls report.

After a weak showing in February that raised fears of an economic slowdown, job creation bounced back in a big way with 196,000 jobs added by the U.S. economy in March. That was about 20,000 above expectations, and way above revised growth of 33,000 in February. What we’re seeing here is a revergence to the mean in terms of average employment numbers, and that’s reassuring.

With the March number in hand and job growth back on a more healthy pace, the February number might now be chalked up to the after-effects of the government shutdown and bad winter weather. The government said job growth over the last three months has averaged 180,000, and that’s thanks to strong growth in January and again in March.

Average hourly wages grew 3.2% year-over-year last month, another sign of possible economic strength, while the overall unemployment rate stayed at 3.8%, near 50-year lows. Inflation has been a non-starter lately, so the better than 3% wage growth isn’t likely to get many people worried about potential rising prices that sometimes go along with higher wages.

With the jobs data in hand, stocks added to earlier gains in pre-market trading. If we’d gotten another report like February’s, it conceivably might have weighed on the market. Still, one thing to potentially worry about today is a possible “Friday fade,” where investors see a good number, decide jobs growth isn’t something to worry about, and then go back to worrying about other things.

If you want to find imperfections in today’s data, it might be in the type of jobs created. While business and professional services and health care led the gains—which we’ve seen most of the year and looks great—manufacturing and construction again showed little change, the government said, though 16,000 construction jobs did get added. Those are areas many analysts look for when they seek signs of economic strength, but they’ve been a bit quiet the last two months.

Restaurants and bars, along with construction, all had weak growth in February likely due in part to weather, but only restaurants and bars bounced back as temperatures warmed in March. That could be something to keep our eye on, though it’s not worth worrying about too much.

Going into the report, a lot of focus had been on the February number and what it might mean for the economy. When you combine weak jobs growth with some of the low inflation and sluggish retail sales data seen recently, it appeared to send signals about possible underlying consumer weakness. The stock market struggled in early March as investors wrestled with the February jobs data.

Since then, economic data have improved, but that ominous February jobs reading wasn’t far from many investors’ minds. Today’s report could mean one less worry.

China, Strong Data Also in Focus

The market has seemed a bit like an eager dog straining on a leash this week. Excitement about the potential completion of a trade deal between the United States and China has helped provide forward momentum to continue the enthusiasm from Monday’s strong manufacturing data.

But there does seem to be a leash keeping the market from really going gangbusters. One part of that could be some less-than-stellar economic data this week on U.S. durable goods orders, domestic private-sector payrolls, and German industrial orders.

But it’s also possible that investors and traders have kept their optimism in check given the uncertainty ahead of today’s jobs report. And the fact of the S&P 500 nearing an all-time high could be acting as a weight of its own, as the market doesn’t have a huge catalyst to move dramatically higher.

Of the two main causes for worry about global economic growth—the U.S.-China trade war and Britain’s exit from the European Union—it’s a trade deal that seems to be the closest to becoming a catalyst for a rise in stocks. However, it’s also arguable that much of the optimism for a deal has already been priced into the market, as expectations of a resolution have been one of the key drivers for this year’s solid comeback after the market tanked late last year.

Onward and Upward

On Thursday, investors continued to look for developments on the trade front, as President Trump was scheduled to meet with China’s top trade negotiator after the market closed. With sentiment leaning bullish, the S&P 500 continued advancing toward its record Thursday, posting its best close so far this year. The trade meeting ended without too many new details, but stocks moved mostly higher overnight in Europe and Asia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also gained yesterday, led by a nearly 2.9% rise in shares of Boeing despite Ethiopia’s transport minister saying the crew in the deadly crash last month of a 737 Max jet made by Boeing had repeatedly performed procedures provided by the company but still couldn’t control the plane. The company’s shares appeared to get some lift after Barron’s highlighted a tweet by Boeing’s CEO about a software update performing safely in a demo flight. Bloomberg reported that the company’s shares gained ground as optimism about a trade deal helped shares shrug off the latest developments on the crash.

In other corporate news, Tesla’s shares fell more than 8% Thursday after the automaker disappointed investors by reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in auto sales. The roughly 63,000 deliveries fell short of what analysts had been expecting.

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Figure 1: Eye on the Greenback: The U.S. dollar (candlestick) has been climbing vs. other currencies, though it leveled off this week. It’s not far from its 2019 highs thanks in part to some strong U.S. data and concerns about Brexit. Meanwhile, gold (purple line) has been descending, which often happens when the dollar gains ground. Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade.

Consumers Keeping Their Jobs: In U.S. economic news, initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 1969, according to the latest Labor Department numbers. In the seven days ended March 30, initial claims for state unemployment benefits, a rough gauge of layoffs, fell by 10,000 to about 202,000, the third consecutive decline. “The key takeaway from the report is that it suggests employers are reluctant to let go of employees,” Briefing.com said. “That is a positive consideration in terms of the economic outlook since feelings of job security help fuel increased consumer spending activity.”

Sentiment Data on Tap: Speaking of the U.S. consumer, which drives a huge portion of the domestic and global economies, investors are scheduled to get a reading on consumer sentiment for April from the University of Michigan next week. The last reading, for March, increased from February’s number. “Rising incomes were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations,” the university said then. “Moreover, all income groups voiced more favorable growth prospects for the overall economy.” It could be interesting to see if consumer sentiment for April continues to improve.

Cain on Rise? On Thursday, President Trump said he had recommended former Republican presidential candidate and pizza chain chief executive Herman Cain for a Fed board seat. The news comes after Trump has expressed displeasure with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after a series of interest rate hikes. But as CNBC points out, Cain may not end up being as dovish as the president might wish, noting a 2014 tweet where Cain said the central bank “can’t keep the economy running on the fumes of artificially low interest rates forever.” For now, though, the Fed seems committed to a dovish policy as inflation remains muted.

TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.

I am Chief Market Strategist for TD Ameritrade and began my career as a Chicago Board Options Exchange market maker, trading primarily in the S&P 100 and S&P 500…

Source: Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

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