The jobs report that came out last week showed there were 228,000 jobs created in the month of November. This is a very strong number and one that could possibly push the Fed to take action this week. Some positives stemming from this include the lowest unemployment we’ve had in 17 years as well as manufacturing showing a lot of strength right now. A negative that comes from this is wage growth. Firms are saying that they aren’t willing to pay for skills that people don’t have. We need this trend of wage growth to turn around in order for things to pick up.
One great thing we saw from the jobs report was that every educational level, post high school, enjoyed job growth. This hasn’t happened in a long time. Another good thing we saw stems from NFIB data. NFIB stands for the National Federation of Independent Business. They came out with a survey in November looking at confidence for hiring next year. This number was the highest it’s ever been for the month. This shows that small businesses are hiring.
Increasing rates could be possible as the Fed meets this week in what will be Janet Yellen’s last meeting. The interesting thing here is that the market isn’t negatively responding from this information, which has historically not been the case. Usually, higher rates cause bond prices to come down. The Fed is able to raise rates on the short end but the long end has stayed relatively flat.
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