For the second time ever, women in the United States have more job count than men do. This has only happened once before back in 2010 after the financial crisis. However, the only reason women had more jobs at the point in time was from men losing their jobs in the manufacturing and construction sector. For the very first time, in terms of true growth of women and jobs, women now will outnumber men in this economy in the jobs area. The growth comes mainly from jobs related to healthcare. The reason that’s an important topic to report on is because that changes buying patterns in the market and decision making for buying patterns in homes.
The last jobs data of the decade came in showing that a December jobs number of +140,000. That’s not as good as expectations, but still very positive after a very long run of positivity. What was surprising was the retail sales jobs number. There were 41,200 new retail jobs. We assumed that the internet would take over the retail jobs. So, it’s very good to see that in shopping season, the retailers had to hire more people. That alone was the largest growth of any sector in the economy in December. The second largest was leisure and hospitality. That data shows a very strong consumer and very good spending patterns from both sides with 80,000 jobs in retail and leisure and hospitality. A good close to the year and decade for the U.S. consumer. This is also a good sign for future earnings growth from companies. People got to spend money which goes into earnings and that helps the economy and the Market. In terms of retail and leisure, people usually don’t spend that money unless they feel confident about their jobs and confident about the economy.
A Decade vs A Week
We have talked in recent vlogs about how much difference a decade makes. However, within the past week, we saw tensions in Iraq change tremendously. We saw a lot of global anxiety around Iran and over the weekend they released an apology that said they mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane. We’re starting to see more tensions internally within Iran. They are now on their third day of protesting and have become very violent internally. They’re trying to throw over the regime so now in terms of global growth, this situation makes you wonder where it’s headed? A week later, it looks very much more contained. This topic was front page news for several days over the weekend, but you can barely see anything about it this morning.
What to Watch
We were bragging two weeks ago on the vlog about how strong U.S. markets were. We had questions from clients on whether we should start adding anything international to portfolios or not as a hedge against the U.S. election since there’s a lot of uncertainty around who’s going to be the next president. We’re starting to see the global economy kind of turn up a little bit and we’re starting to see global yields move higher. We’ve got a trade deal that will hopefully be signed on Wednesday which will open up a lot of things not just for the U.S and China, but also globally. A country that we are going to start watching carefully is Germany. We looked at Germany as a leading economic indicator from an international standpoint. They have been in the middle of a China slow down, U.S. threatening auto tariffs, and Brexit hurting exports. Not all the data coming out on Germany has been good but it’s starting to hit a bottom note so we’re looking at countries like Germany to see where international markets are headed. In the past we’ve been heavy on the U.S. because that’s where the strength has been. There’s been tremendous growth and the U.S. dollar has been a lot higher than other currencies around the world because of how strong our economy is. Hopefully we will see some global growth stabilizing over 2020 and see the dollar come down a little bit. At that point, international markets will seem a lot more attractive. Europe’s got the ability to be a positive surprise this year. One thing we are proud of is that we are always looking through the noise and keep people updated about how it impacts their portfolio.
Fi Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. Fi Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Economic forecasts set forth in this presentation may not develop as predicted.
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