Chamber Friday “On The Mark” 1070AM: Americans are returning to work in big numbers. How big?

  • Share:
Chamber Friday “On The Mark” 1070AM

April 2, 2021
By: Bob Garrett

This month our theme is: “Americans are returning to work in big numbers. How big?”

According to a consensus of economists surveyed by Dow Jones, this morning’s jobs report will be that 675,000 jobs were added in March. Also, it may be reported that the U.S. economy is experiencing a broad reopening thanks mostly to the rapidly increasing number of vaccinated people. Further, the unemployment rate is forecast to fall to 6% from 6.2%.

Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at CitiCorp Wealth Management was quoted as saying “Citigroup expects 600,000+ jobs to have been created in March.” He added that, “the whisper number around the street is closer to a million, so expectations are pretty high.”

The stock market will be closed today in observance of Good Friday, and the bond market will only be open for a half day.

March will likely be the first month in a string of very strong monthly numbers. Several economists suggested that we could see three-to-five months of million+ jobs increases. This is particularly good news for the hard-hit hospitality and leisure sectors. The key concern at the Chamber, reflected in our #1 Strategic Urgency (Workforce), going into the spring and summer months is finding the workers to fill all the positions which are about to be created.

Another important sector is manufacturing. According to Institute for Supply Management the March manufacturing index jumped to 64.7, which is its highest level in nearly 40 years. The Manufacturing sector along with the Construction sector are already worker starved.

For now, inflation appears to be in-check. Economists are expecting to see prices rise because of the base effect from last year’s weakness as well as the current burst in demand. Close attention will be paid to the jobs report’s wage component to see if inflation is beginning to show up in wages. A 0.1% wage increase in average hourly wages is expected for March after a 0.2% rise in February. Neither of these numbers indicate that inflation is of concern, yet.

So how are we doing?

According to the ( county-by-county report, Greater Susquehanna Valley counties ‘are holding their own’ as compared to the rest of the state. Specifically, each county is at: Montour at 5.3% (up from 4.7% in December), Union at 5.7% (unchanged for several months), Snyder at 5.7% (up slightly) and Northumberland at 7.7% (up a full percentage point). Chester County (5.0%) has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Prior to the COVID-19 related shutdowns, county rates were between 3.2% and 7.5%. With the hospitality industry opening to 75% capacity this coming weekend and seasonal employment on the upswing, our area should get back to near pre-pandemic unemployment rates this summer.

GSVCC 2021-2022 Strategic Plan
Connect and Move Forward…Together!
Leave a Comment
* Required field
Website by MoJo Active