Understanding The Latest Jobs Numbers

We’re all about the dollars here (it’s called Paycheckology for a reason!) So, it’s time for a new look at the latest job numbers. Is the labor market all puppy dogs and rainbows or do we still have major issues to sort out?

Here are Five Fast Facts about the April jobs report:

  1. 📈 Jobs Added - About 253k jobs were created in April. Unemployment is down to a historic low of 3.4% and wages are up over 4%. Boo-yah, we’ll take those numbers!
  1. 📉 Jobs Taken Away - Unfortunately, the job numbers for February/March were “corrected” last month and it looks like we LOST 150k jobs from what they previously reported. This means the hiring trend is definitely slowing down (also, don’t be surprised if the April numbers get “corrected” later, too.) 😞
  1. 👎 “Consumer Sentiment” -  Financial-minded people follow this number called Consumer Sentiment, and it’s not great right now. It slipped by about 6 points, erasing more than half of the gains it made over the past year or so. Consumer expectations for the next year are down 23% from last month. This means consumers aren’t feeling the warm fuzzies about where the nation’s economy is heading. With a recession looming and inflation still raging, this is about as shocking as waking up each morning to find that gravity still works.
  1. 🧊🌨️ Hiring Freezes - Many businesses are clearly preparing for slower hiring, and maybe not hiring at all, which complicates things and slows down the economy even more. Downward spiral, anyone?
  1. 😣 Getting Less For More - Part of the problem for many businesses is that they are having to pay more and getting less out of their people. Productivity was down almost 3% from last year, but costs have risen by over 6%. That’s not exactly a formula for long term financial success.

🔥Bottom line: While it’s great that unemployment is super low (3.4%), it’s a bit misleading. That’s the number of people who are actively looking for jobs that can’t find one. There’s another version of unemployment that looks at people who would like to go from part time to full time, as well as people who have given up looking for work, and that number comes in at almost 7%. 😣

So yeah, the job numbers aren’t great. People are hunkering down to weather an economic storm in the coming months, and that means we’d better prepare, too. Get a financial plan in place and work with a good financial planner to tidy up your investments.

What do you think about the latest job numbers?

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