According to the Labor Department when Trump became president in January 2017, 152,076,000 Americans were employed. Last month, that number grew to a record 156,945,000, a gain of 4,869,000 in two years. The manufacturing industry posted net job gains of 284,000 over 2018, capping its best calendar year since 1997. The number of Hispanics employed set a new record high of 27,701,000 in December, as their unemployment rate fell to a record low. The number of Hispanics employed, participating in the workplace, and civilian population all rose in December, as Hispanics' labor force participation rate increased from 66.8% to 67.0%, recording its fourth straight monthly increase.
Eurozone sentiment hits four year low. The investor sentiment index for the region fell for the fifth consecutive month in January to its lowest level since December 2014. A so-called hard Brexit, political unrest in France, and Italy's budget struggle with the European Union are among the issues weighing on investors. Also adding to angst were data that showed German factory orders fell for the first time in four months during November. The dip compares with an increase in the prior month and is likely to renew concerns that trade tensions and an overall loss of momentum are now weighing on the Eurozone's largest economy. (LPL)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.