A lot of discussion is going on this morning about employment … on many different fronts.
First of all, the U.S. jobs market continues to be strong and it seems that almost anyone that wants a job can find one … importantly noting that doesn’t necessarily mean the job (and location) they actually want … but a paying job nonetheless.
Why do I say this? A San Diego newspaper is reporting that many entry-level positions … paying (get this) $80,000 to start … sit unfilled … as they deal with the “unsexy” world of cybersecurity … and most graduates want something more exciting. At the same time, another report (with a link below … as are all the stories I mention today) points out a large amount of millennials living at home … with no job … and who are not in school. Have parents unintentionally become enablers? Get these kids studying … and send them off to San Diego. Jeesh!
One final mention on jobs today has to do with the beautiful country of Denmark.
A few years ago, complaints over a growing immigration problem were plentiful and steps were taken to reduce the flow of immigrants into the country. But Denmark has suddenly realized there are not enough workers to fill existing positions, so it has reversed course and is now looking for ways to attract non-Danes into their midst.
It only seems logical to wonder if we are headed along the same path.
Another interesting story (last one below) relates to the energy industry. I remember a few years ago when domestic textile manufacturers sat on their hands when the apparel (sewing) industry moved overseas (with U.S. government support). The problem was, a few years later, the same “great escape” happened to them and household names … like Burlington Industries and J.P. Stevens … met a quick demise. Recently, the domestic natural gas industry benefitted from the decline in the use of coal. But it is being reported that “green groups that once celebrated gas as a ‘bridge fuel’ … are now fighting it.” … and coal manufacturers are warning that the natural gas industry will eventually meet the same fate as the textile industry here did years ago. Remember the “clean” nuclear plants that were built? Can anyone say “white elephant?”
And finally … at lunchtime yesterday I was at the mall and there must’ve been a kid’s party going on for some guy dressed as a clown was smiling, holding the door for people entering … and handing out balloons. Suddenly it dawned on me.
That was a very nice jester.
Have a great day.
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-9230 ext. 6
… as of 10:25 AM EDT …
Quick Look at the News
The labor market continues to strengthen, and the lines at the unemployment centers are getting shorter. But are there enough people to fill job openings? (MarketWatch)http://www.marketwatch.com/story/number-of-people-collecting-unemployment-checks-hits-17-year-low-jobless-claims-show-2017-04-20
... there might be ... but it is not people, but robots. While this could fill the employment/availability gap for a while, can it get to be "too much" ... forcing many into eventual unemployment? (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/15/opinions/the-robot-scabs-are-coming-to-take-your-jobs-howard-opinion/index.html
One thing to keep in mind is that unemployment numbers ... as low as they are ... do not include people not actively looking for work. What? Not look for work? How do you survive? Answer: sponge off your parents (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/a-quarter-of-millennials-who-live-at-home-don-t-work-or-study
... though some will need to leave comforts of home in order to get a job. San Diego is a great place ... as, surprisingly ... many entry-level $80.000/year jobs go unfilled - though it will take training (SanDiegoUnionTribune)http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/cyber-life/sd-me-connected-highered-20170417-story.html
... and what happens if you close your doors to immigrants and then realize you don't have enough people to work? Why ... you suck it up and ask for them to come back (USAToday)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/scandinavia-s-most-closed-off-nation-is-now-yearning-for-immigrants
While many would disagree, it appears that marijuana is becoming more accepted nationwide. Why? In places where it is now legal ... though it is early in the game ... we have not seen massive disruption (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/04/19/marijuanas-big-day-here-420-celebrations-ready-roll/100663642/
... and investors seem increasingly curious about jumping on this train. So here is information on stocks (a lot of which are Canadian) which cater to this growing industry (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-weed-index/
Coal has been attacked by environmentalists ... much to the benefit of those in the natural gas industry. But coal enthusiasts warn this group not to get too comfortable for they may be next in the line of fire (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/natural-gas-moves-to-the-naughty-list