Today’s Employment Report

Peter Boockvar summarized a view of this Pearl Harbor Day employment report. We agree with him.

Here’s Peter: “Bottom line, the moderation in the pace of job gains coincides with the recent uptick we’ve seen in jobless claims. It’s hard not to wonder how much of this is due to a business pause on the labor front with all the cloudiness on trade and tariffs. Construction seeing only a job gain of 5k could also be reflecting the slowdown going on in real estate, both residential and commercial. Manufacturing job gains did hang in as companies front loaded inventory builds.” (Peter Boockvar, email to subscribers, Friday, December 07, 2018 8:53 AM)

In our interview with the Wall Street Journal this morning we enumerated and discussed the anecdotes we see from our client base in over 40 states. There is a slowing underway because of Trump-Navarro Trade War protectionism. It is getting worse, as one would expect. We see it in New England in the lobster industry. We see it in the Western US in construction. We see it in employment composition and businesses’ deployment of assets as they build inventories in anticipation of tariffs. And we see it in delays of capital expenditures as entrepreneurs are bewildered by Trump administration inconsistencies.

Simply put: You cannot make business decisions and investment decisions based on Twitter rampages. That doesn’t work.

The Fed’s Beige Book confirms these anecdotes in reports from the twelve Federal Reserve regions. DataTrek has a compilation out this morning. We have copied and pasted it below. The key to today’s employment report is that the data from the US national report is confirming what the survey data is saying in the Fed’s reports.

Here’s Datatrek:

That’s why we look at the Beige Book when it is released eight times a year, as it offers more color on what’s happening beneath the economic surface than the national data shows. Another word we’ve been closely monitoring in these reports: ‘tariff’. It went from no mentions in the January and March reports to the following times in future editions: April (36), May (22), July (31), September (41), October (51), and December (39).

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Disclaimer: The preceding was provided by Cumberland Advisors, Home Office: One Sarasota Tower, 2 N. Tamiami Trail, Suite 303, Sarasota, FL 34236; New Jersey Office: 614 Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ ...

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