US economy added 211,000 new jobs

The Labor Department says the US economy added 211,000 new jobs in April. Of those 191,000 were in the private sector and 20,000 in government. The unemployment fell to 4.4%, lowest since May of 2007.

Worker productivity fell 0.6% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2016, leading to a jump in labor-related costs. This was the weakest in a year. Year-over-year productivity increased at a 1.1% rate. Productivity has increased at a meager average annual rate of 0.6% over the last five years, well below its long-term rate of 2.1% from 1947 to 2016. Per unit labor costs increased at a 3.0% rate in the first quarter. (Labor Department)

The US trade balance was near flat at $-43.7 billion in March. Both imports and exports fell, signaling a decline in trade activity. Services trade activity was strong, exhibiting the continued value of good old American know-how as a national resource. (LPL Research)

Fast food purveyor YUM Brands released same-store Q1 sales at their restaurants yesterday according to a news release:
Pizza Hut: down 3%
KFC: up 2%
Taco Bell: up 8%

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about the danger of bonds.

The S&P 500 is up 4 and the NASDAQ is up 9. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 10 cents at $45.50 a barrel. This level is a 5-month low.

Gold is up $4 at $1232 a Troy ounce. Worst week since November.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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Financial Focus • May 5, 2017


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