First quarter earnings season’s last big week just ended, and the numbers were good overall, but it was the economic numbers reported this week that were more of interest. The ADP jobs report for April rose to 275,000 from 151,000. These are private sector jobs. The official number out this morning came in at an outstanding 263,000 dropping the unemployment rate to 3.6%. The last time it was that low was 40 years ago.
First quarter productivity was up 3.6% whereas unit labor cost for the same quarter was down .9%. That fall in labor cost was a surprise as well as the large increase in productivity. This stat is important as it will be reflected in an increase in the overall standard of living for all Americans. Most of the numbers this week showed slight improvement. Not enough to cause inflation and not enough to worry the Federal Reserve, so interest rates should remain where they are for the foreseeable future.