Survey Data Pointing Towards a Weakening Employment Environment

Survey Data Pointing Towards a Weakening Employment Environment Chart

Highlighted by record low unemployment and the recent return of modest wage growth, the U.S. employment environment has been a strong point for the domestic economy throughout the current economic expansion. However, as indicated by the gold line in the chart above, the rate of job growth has been slowing for most of 2019. Slowing job growth 10 years into an economic expansion makes sense, given that there is minimal slack left in the jobs market. Nonetheless, slowing job growth is a concern as any hit to the American consumer could threaten an already shaky economic growth picture. Survey data (black line) confirms that business managers are experiencing increasing difficulty with finding qualified labor as well as having to forgo new hiring rounds due to macroeconomic headwinds, namely the ongoing trade war with China. We expect that employment growth will continue to be weighed down as long as major macro level concerns go unresolved.