September was a rough month for the United States in virtually every capacity. The South is still shaking from the hurricanes, and the numbers reflect that toll. The unemployment rate is now at 4.2%, but signs of improvement lie in the increased Labor force participation, which ticked up to 63.1%. If we magnify the view to see where the actual jobs are being lost, we can see the specific effect of the hurricanes. With Leisure and hospitality taking the hardest hit, losing a massive 111k jobs - largely due to the impact on Disney. Looking forward, the common prediction is a rise in wages, and a supplemental tightening of labor markets, all anchored by an increase in technology to sustain prices.
That being said, we have to take these numbers with a grain of salt. With the huge amount of negative externalities, the fed’s economic plans for the immediate future will likely remain relatively unaffected by September’s statistics.
As a whole, the country saw a loss of around 33,000 jobs, but not all markets looked downward. The Chicago PMI (purchasing managers index) jumped to 65.2, which is the highest it’s been in nearly three years. This number’s significance comes from its value to investors. Normally a volatile figure, Chicago’s PMI tends to mirror that of the other states. And since it’s the last of the major regional manufacturing indicators to come out before the release of the national Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing report, a good showing from Chicago points to financial optimism in virtually all of the private sector.
And with the beginning of Q4 and the holiday season on deck, the cash flow surrounding the purchasing of consumer goods will kick us off in 2018. From a predictive perspective, new technology was just revealed from both Apple and Google. And that, accompanied by the positive alignment of numbers in the manufacturing / industrial warehousing sector, suggests that Amazon – as the unconventional conglomerate that it is – will likely make the news in the next month or two.
A tough month matched with a proper response from some of the most innovative companies in our country.