The Economy is Taking Off

The Department of Labor Statistics’ monthly Employment Report is perhaps the most followed and reported on piece of economic data. This report produces the official estimate of unemployment in the United States. A couple of years ago when we started providing updates on Jobs Day, the unemployment rate had implications on how the Federal Reserve would conduct monetary policy. As unemployment slowly fell the narrative was about the painfully slow pace of the economic recovery and when the Fed eventually ended QE, the concern in the market was if the economy was strong enough to stand on its own.

The growth in jobs since then has been extraordinary.

2014 began the takeoff everyone was waiting for and that trend continued last month.  January payrolls exceeded expectations with 257k new jobs and revisions to past months added 147k more than previously thought.

The unemployment rate stayed flat but for good reasons as more people joined the labor force and wage growth, which has been tepid at best even as job creation boomed, jumped 12 cents. Simply put, this is an excellent Jobs Report.

Markets reacted immediately, pricing in an earlier date for interest rate hikes as Treasuries were immediately rocked and the dollar spiked.  Equity markets were up slightly following the news.

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