Investment Insights are written by Angeles' CIO Michael Rosen
Michael has more than 30 years experience as an institutional portfolio manager, investment strategist, trader and academic.
The US economy is stronger than we think: 257,000 net new jobs in January, but another 404,000 jobs were “found” (due to a recalculation) in November and December. More than 140 million are currently employed, a record high (see Chart below).
The unemployment rate is 5.7%, but if we include part-timers and discouraged, that percentage rises to 11.3%. Way too high, but making progress (see Chart below).
One of the details in the data is the number of people quitting their jobs: 9.5% of the unemployed quit their jobs, the highest percentage since 2008. This is a datum only a wonk (or a Fed Chair—Janet Yellen has singled out this number as particularly meaningful for her) could love, as it presumably shows a higher confidence among voluntary quitters that they will find another job.
There’s always lots of noise in the data, but the US economy, if not humming, is certainly chugging along.