As we close out 2023 it’s useful to reflect on the things we got right and the things we got wrong. I was wrong about the US economy.
On July 5, 2022, the yield curve between the two-year and ten-year Treasury notes inverted and I was certain the US economy would slip into recession. Yield curves become inverted then the interest rate for short-term loans becomes higher than the interest rate for long-term loans. Typically, an inverted yield curve is followed by recession, but this time appears to be different.
There are no signs the economy is headed to recession, or even slowing down. In fact as recently pointed out in a WSJ Article, “A year ago, everyone from the strategists at Wall Street banks to rap artist Cardi B was calling for a recession. Instead, inflation continued falling, consumers kept spending and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969.”
So, what should we expect for 2024? Clearly, I have no idea!
My best guess, inflation...
It’s likely you started your small business because you saw a need, had a solution, and recognized the opportunity to provide your solution and earn income for your family. In time, you probably realized that your small business is more than just a tool to generate income for yourself, but that it can positively impact others and create a legacy for your family.
Part of pursuing that legacy and securing your own American Dream includes growing your small business. That growth often means hiring new employees.
But how do you know when your small business can or should start the hiring process? Should your new hire be an independent contractor or a full-time employee?
The mindset behind the hiring process is just as important as the hiring process itself in helping you get the right employee in the door and supporting your role in making good decisions for the company.
Here are seven clear indicators that you are ready to spend time hiring the right person for your...
ADP Nonfarm Private Payrolls missed consensus estimates … by a lot.
The January ADP National Employment Report posted an unexpected 301,000 decline in nonfarm private sector payrolls, the first monthly decline in just over a year. Consensus estimates were for a 210,000 increase in January payrolls.
Making matters worse, the December increase in payrolls was revised down from 807,000 to 776,000, while the November payrolls increased 496,000, revised down from 505,000. ADP suggests the decline was "due to the effect of the Omicron variant."
While the decline was a huge miss, what’s more concerning is the trend. The November and December downward revisions suggest the economy is weakening. It’s too soon to tell whether the trend is a temporary decline, which will improve as the Omicron variant peaks across the country, or if there’s more systemic issues at play.
Keep a close eye on the January Nonfarm Payroll report, if its consistent with the ADP print, could...
The U.S. Employment situation continued to improve last month, as October Nonfarm payrolls increased 531,000, beating consensus expectations were for a 413,000 improvement. Additionally, the September and August numbers were revised higher, 312,000 up from 194,000 and 483,000 up from 366,000 respectively. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, better than the anticipated 4.7%. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4% meeting expectations, after a .6% increase in September. By nearly every measure the October print was a welcomed surprise.
One area, which continues to be a cause for concern, is the labor force participation rate, which remained constant at 61.6%, below the January 2020 high of 63.4%. Despite a steady increase in hourly earnings and the elimination of much of the pandemic stimulus, people have still not returned to work, as many economists anticipated. There’s much speculation about the causes of this phenomenon, health concerns, childcare issues,...