Advertisements

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.

uncaptioned image

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

Advertisements

How To Secure Strong References Who Will Help You Land The Job – Georgina Grant

1.jpg

Job seekers are free to toot their own horns on résumés and cover letters. So for a slightly less subjective opinion, hiring managers may turn to candidates’ references.

“The purpose of the reference, more than anything, is to judge somebody’s professionalism and behavior,” says Ryan Sutton, district president at global staffing firm Robert Half. “References can really help check your math, so to speak, and check your decision-making process and make sure you didn’t miss anything.”

Although you may feel as though the reference-checking process is out of your control, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of receiving a favorable review.

Build A Strategic List

In general, recruiters do prefer references from former managers. “We’re going to expect that they’ll be able to talk to your strengths and your weaknesses as they would relate to the potential position,” says J.T. O’Donnell, the founder and CEO of Work It Daily. “A close second is going to be peers, especially peers who are highly successful in their own rite.”

Without many former managers or colleagues to choose from, candidates just starting out in their careers may feel as though they’re at a disadvantage. But Sutton insists that recent graduates can still turn to former professors or supervisors from extracurricular activities, such as internships, sports teams or volunteer experiences.

While job descriptions frequently call for a minimum of two references, Sutton recommends asking as many people as possible if they would be willing to speak on your behalf. This, however, does not mean you should include all of their names and contact information on your résumé.

Instead, build up a “toolbox,” as Sutton calls it, a master list of all those willing to vouch for you. Then, when a potential employer asks for your reference list, you can provide a customized version that only includes those individuals who can best speak to your skills that are most relevant for the job at hand. Take it one step further by asking the hiring manager who they might be most interested in speaking with. By putting the ball in his or her court, you can both prevent unhelpful reference checks and demonstrate that you have a history of productive professional relationships.

If a recruiter asks you to provide a reference from your current manager, O’Donnell recommends asking if he or she can wait until the final offer stage so you have time to secure the job and break the news to your boss.

Keep In Touch

When asking someone to serve as a reference, a phone call works better than an email. “Either the person’s going to be really enthusiastic over the phone and you’re going to know that they’d be good, or you’re going to hear some kind of reservation,” says O’Donnell. Not only can a conversation give you insight into what a potential reference might say to a hiring manager, but it’s also a chance to network with past colleagues who may know of other job opportunities for which you might be a fit.

As you reach out, keep in mind that some companies have policies that may preclude managers from accepting your reference requests. “Your previous employer and current employer may only be able to verify dates of employment and title of role and that’s it,” says Sutton. “It’s not about you.” These sorts of protocols are becoming increasingly more common, especially at large corporations.

After the initial ask, it is essential to stay in touch. Let your references know whenever you hand over their information, and ask them to tell you if a potential employer reaches out. It is equally important to keep them informed about every position for which you apply so they know what kinds of questions to expect. “You never want them to be blindsided,” O’Donnell warns. Provide any and all background information well in advance of your references’ calls, which will likely occur sometime between the final interview and the offer stage.

Show Your Appreciation

How you follow up with a reference may depend on the nature of your relationship with the person. But O’Donnell maintains that the rule of thumb is to send a thank-you email every time someone vouches for you. When you finally accept an offer, all those who gave you a reference deserve a phone call, followed by a handwritten note. “You don’t have to go over-the-top and buy a big expensive gift,” says O’Donnell. “You just want people to know that their time and their input was worth something to you.”

Set Yourself Up For Future Success

While much of the application process may be out of your hands, you can control the attitude and work ethic you bring to the table. Leaving a supervisor with a good impression takes time and dedication, but it will ultimately give you a major advantage during future job searches. “I’ve just had so many people in my program lately who come in and have burned bridges and can’t give references at past employers that would be vital to them landing this big, wonderful opportunity they want,” says O’Donnell. “Never underestimate how important it is to manage your relationships where you work, because those people will be your references some day.”

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar