Things Are Good to Start 2017, but Could Be Better

The Wall Street Journal reported, “The final full month of President Barack Obama’s term was the 75th straight month U.S. employers added jobs.  That extended the longest such stretch on record back to 1939.  The unemployment rate was at the lowest level to end a year since 2006, well down from the 7.8% level recorded when he took office in January 2009, during a deep recession, and from a peak of 10% early in his presidency.” This is certainly positive news, but with reservations.  There is a definite tightening of the overall labor market with some industries struggling to find employees with the necessary skills.  At the same time, a sluggish global economy helped keep business expansion plans in check.  Production numbers at US factories are steadily rebounding from hitting a rough patch in late 2015 and early 2016, which was caused by the decline in energy prices.  The declines led to cutbacks in orders for equipment and pipelines, while a stronger dollar and slower economic growth abroad hurt exports.  As we start a new year, with a new President, it will be interesting to see if the economic recovery will maintain its slow, steady pace.


Bruce Peacock
Vice President of Business Development
The Richmond Group USA