06042021 :: Friday finance

A partial digest

Philip Valenta, MSF


All assets reacted to the jobs data at the end of the week and what it says about economic support and any recovery. The health of the labor market, as discussed here week after week, is central to all else. Weakness there implies more need for support, which fuels various bets.

On the back of a 3.6% rise in YoY PCE for the month of April, the jobs report released Friday for May once again disappointed. High inflation readings are fleeting — a feature of the havoc the pandemic wreaked on the energy industry in particular — while the dismal state of the labor market is not.

The economy added a mere 559k jobs, meaning we’re still some 7.6 million jobs shy of the February 2020 pre-pandemic peak. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8%, and the underemployment rate to 10.2%.

ShadowStats’ alternate unemployment rate for May was 26%.

The percentage of employed persons who continued to telework due to the pandemic dropped yet again, this time to 16.6% for the month of May. This is down from April’s 18.3%. Again, here’s looking at you, Zoom.