Job growth was good last month. Not great, but good.
There was some weakness in manufacturing and telecom and a few other categories, but generally the data are fine. Not booming, but fine. Further, the labor market is gradually tightening.
Although many economic forecasts emphasized declining housing, with the possibility of a spillover into consumer spending, none of that can be seen in the data. This is a very comforting report–unless you’re trying to hire. The shrinking pool of unemployed job seekers makes life harder for the hiring manager. Check out our previous post, 6 Steps to Hiring in a Tight Labor Market. If you don’t have any openings now, be thankful. You’re probably applying our 7 Steps to Better Employee Retention.
Business Planning Implications: No sign of a downturn here, except in manufacturing and telecom. It’s OK to still be a little nervous, but don’t let worry dominate your planning.
Investment tip: Don’t expect the Fed to tighten after this report, of course. The staffing industry (temporary help) did not gain last month; after their first quarter earnings come in later this month, it might be worth taking a look at some companies here. Their business should improve with the falling unemployment rate.