A FUN ONE-MONTH RETROSPECTIVE

From Courtney Connley’s article for cnbc.com, dated January 4th, 2019:

There’s more good news for those looking to change jobs in 2019, but the time to act is now.

Overall, the economy remains in good shape for those looking for new opportunities, with 312,000 jobs added in December, according to the latest report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is actually higher than the roughly 176,000 jobs that economists had expected.

Unemployment also rose from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent, as more workers joined the labor force. Additionally, wages increased by 3.2 percent from a year ago, putting wage growth at a tie with October for the largest year-over-year increase since April 2009.

“When we look at the job market, it’s a bit of a counterpoint to the tremendous amount of volatility we see elsewhere in the economy, and essentially in society,” Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick tells CNBC Make It.

He adds that while the current jobs report does provide some measure of comfort, job seekers should be mindful of a possible hiring slowdown due to risk factors like rising interest rates, trade war tensions and a low stock market.

So how did that slowdown warning play out?

Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January, total nonfarm jobs increased by another 304,000 – almost double what most “pundits” were predicting, just like December.

And as for that low stock market issue?  On the day Ms. Connley wrote her article, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 23,433.16.  Today it closed at 25,425,76 – a gain of of 8.5% in slightly more than a month.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that hiring slowdown may not be quite as imminent as Mr. Hamrick suspected.

Oh, did I mention that Gallup just released data showing 69% of Americans’ expect they will be financially better off next year – a 16 year high?

Sorry about that. With so much other good economic news it almost got lost in the shuffle.

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