Turning The Page On A Dark Period In History

Published Friday, March 4, 2022 at: 7:39 PM EST

5005 2

The U.S. created nearly twice the number of new jobs in February than was expected, and hospitality was the No. 1 job-producing sector of the economy for the second month in a row. The pandemic’s grip on restaurants, hotels, and malls weakened and the nation may finally be turning the page on a dark period in history.         

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase, with a gain of 179,000 in February, the U.S. Government said today. Job growth occurred in food services and drinking places (+124,000) and in accommodations (+28,000). Since February 2020, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.5 million, or 9%. Its comeback is a detail lost in the details reported in the financial press after Friday morning’s data release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

5005 3

BLS Friday morning said 678,000 new jobs were created at large businesses in February, much more than the 380,000 expected. 

BLS publishes two employment surveys each month, commonly referred to in the press as the “household” and “establishment” surveys. The household survey samples about 60,000 eligible households and is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for BLS. The establishment survey collects data each month from the payroll records of a sample of about 144,000 large businesses and government agencies.

While the two surveys often show wide disparities in any given month, together they represent U.S. job growth.  Since the pandemic bust in February and March 2020, both job formation indexes are above-average compared to pre-pandemic. 

5005 4

The establishment survey of big businesses is 2.1 million jobs shy of its pre-pandemic peak, while the household survey index is only 1.1 million jobs short of a full recovery from the devastating job losses sustained in the pandemic low of April 2020. The household survey likely created more jobs post-pandemic than the establishment survey because of individuals leaving large employers to start their own businesses, says Fritz Meyer, an independent economist. It’s how capitalism is supposed to work!  

Meanwhile, leisure and hospitality has been the No. 1 jobs-growth sector of the economy two months in a row, providing evidence that a post-pandemic period is beginning in America. 

5005 5

We don’t know how the Ukraine situation will turn out, but we do know that stocks have weathered many, many crises, including WWII, the Cuban missile crisis, the Persian Gulf War and 9/11. It’s also clear that the economic boom is continuing.

We entered March with substantial momentum. The U.S. Index of Leading Economic Indicators points to strong growth for 2022. Manufacturing activity is strong, home construction is booming, car manufacturing is coming back, and household net worth is at a record high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed this Friday at 4,328.87. The index lost -0.79% from Thursday and -1.28% from last week. The index is up +63.7% from the March 23, 2020, bear market low.

Nothing contained herein is to be considered a solicitation, research material, an investment recommendation, or advice of any kind, and it is subject to change without notice. Any investments or strategies referenced herein do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person. Product suitability must be independently determined for each individual investor. Tax advice always depends on your particular personal situation and preferences. You should consult the appropriate financial professional regarding your specific circumstances. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete, and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Advisor Products and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.

Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. Past performance is not an indicator of your future results.