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Historical Jobs Boom...Beige Book Highlights

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst

Folks, you already know that I love the ‘Dirty Fingernail Economy’ and the great investments that go along with it.  Yesterday morning, 64,000 jobs were created in the goods-producing sector, according to the ADP Jobs Report:

  • Construction: 39,000
  • Mining: 11,000
  • Manufacturing: 14,000

We are averaging 53,000 goods-producing jobs each month this year from 37,000 in 2017 and only 5,000 in 2016.

Those numbers could have been much better. Yesterday’s Beige Book underscored the amazing difficulty of finding workers for this historical jobs boom.

Meanwhile, the truckers and rails keep powering this market higher.

Beige Book Highlights

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Growth has remained fairly brisk in the manufacturing sector and has picked up somewhat in the service industries. Consumer spending has been steady to stronger in April and early May, buoyed by increased tourism.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Staffing firms continued to report steady demand for temporary workers and direct hires in several local labor markets, with increased wage pressures in the tightest markets. According to one contact, clients are hiring faster now compared with a few years ago when they were indecisive about whether to hire and whom.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Homebuilders reported that overall customer demand was either steady or improving and that current trends are expected to continue into the next few months. A stronger job market, higher mortgage rates, and rising home prices were noted as enabling and motivating purchases.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Employment agencies noted a slight decrease in job openings compared to the strong spring recruiting levels. Staffing firms reported increased demand for warehouse managers, customer service representatives, and medical and legal professionals. Meanwhile, business owners reported difficulty filling positions for carpenters, machinists, electricians, engineers, truck drivers, IT professionals, and construction workers.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Builders reported that new home construction increased since the previous report. Commercial real estate contacts indicated that demand continued to improve. Manufacturing purchasing managers cited increases in new orders and production.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Manufacturing production increased strongly, employment grew moderately, consumer and business spending rose modestly, and construction and real estate activity increased slightly.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Contacts in Missouri and Arkansas also reported difficulties filling skilled technical and engineering positions. Some local employers have begun relaxing drug-testing standards and reducing restrictions on hiring convicted felons in order to alleviate labor shortages.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Hiring demand appeared robust. A job fair in northwestern Wisconsin had a full roster of interested employers and had to turn away others. A job fair in eastern Minnesota was also sold out with 50 employers, who reported almost 1,700 open positions. North Dakota saw April online job postings rise 9 percent over a year ago. Minnesota construction firms reported strong hiring, especially among skilled workers.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

All sectors expected an increase in employment in the months ahead with the exception of auto sales. Respondents noted a shortage of commercial drivers, salespeople, and service workers.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Expansion in the energy and service sectors continued at about the same pace, while retail spending was mixed.

Outlooks remained fairly optimistic, but tariffs and trade-related concerns were creating uncertainty.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Demand for workers in the restaurant industry increased markedly. Demand for construction labor continued to exceed supply, causing wages to rise moderately and wait times for project starts to increase. Across the District, contacts in banking and financial services noted persistent shortages of IT professionals, especially at companies or branches in rural areas. In response to shortages of skilled labor in banking services and manufacturing, contacts noted the growth of strategic training partnerships between these employers and colleges and trade schools to build a talent pipeline.

Charles Payne
Wall Street Strategies


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