Last week we had a strong jobs report. 261,000 new jobs is not a great number, but it’s a pretty good number. Considering the fact that this included significant disruption from multiple hurricanes, the number is impressive. This brings us down to 4.1% unemployment. The lowest number since 2000.
Yes, we still have a good number of non-participants in the population, not looking for a job, and a good number of underemployed. Regardless, the raw number is still really good and shouldn’t be ignored. The stock market is reaching new highs indicating that we are seeing some signs of real growth. With employment numbers like this there is solid reason to believe that we are finally headed for real growth, not just cost cutting to make operations lean and squeeze out profits. It has now been over 10 years since we saw real growth. It’s no coincidence that we are now seeing strong construction across the board and that we have not seen strong construction like this in over 10 years.
The one thing that we don’t have, and do need to see, is wage growth. We have a tight labor market without wage gains and that is a disconnect. It also indicates that if we are going to see real growth there is a lot of room for a lot more growth.