Jobs Report Presents a Mixed Picture
Markets were down in trading today, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ making the most of a bad situation and losing the least. The Dow led the day's dive to the bottom and posted a loss of 272.38 points to close the trading day at 16,102.38. The S&P 500 dropped 29.91 points and closed out the day's trading at 1,921.22. The NASDAQ dropped only 49.58 points and ended the day's trading at 4,683.92.
In overseas trading, markets were generally down. Across Europe markets fell by the most, with Germany's DAX dropping 272 points and London's FTSE following close behind with a loss of 147. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei had a hard day, falling 381 points.
Jobs Report Better Than Expected in Some AreasIn a piece of good news today, the latest monthly jobs report was better than expected. The report announced that we are officially at the lowest levels of unemployment in 7 years, and that the jobs market is well on its way to making a complete recovery. In addition, more high-income jobs than expected were created last month, as executives and upper management went back to work. Income also grew faster than expected last month, rising 2.2%.
For most Americans, though, the report was lackluster. Only 173,000 jobs were added last month, down from the average of 213,000. The number of jobs also fell short of analyst predictions, with most agreeing that we would see an additional 200,000 jobs this month.
Although the jobs market is moving in the right direction, it's moving there more slowly than expected. Still, unemployment has been cut in half from the worst days of the latest recession, when the jobless rate was approaching 10.2%. And again, it's the parts of the economy that are growing which has some analysts excited.
Healthcare jobs were up by 56,000 last month, an excellent indicator that more Americans are insured and seeking out services. The jobs also pay better than average, so they're an excellent part of the economy to see growing. The economy also added 33,000 jobs for attorneys in the last month, and 19,000 in the financial sector.
Of course, these numbers should probably be viewed through the same lens that the Fed is using in order to make up their mind. Jobs as a whole aren't growing as fast as expected. It remains to be seen what that means for the economy, but it's a good sign for people who want the Fed to skip their planned rate hike this year.