Friday’s jobs report was less than stellar. With a miss of 4K jobs created, you would have to think, will the Fed actually start its taper of the QE3 program? The economy is not holding its own head above water without the stimulus of the Fed. Some people look at the unemployment percentage dropping from 7.4% down to 7.3% and think that this is a good sign. But I would argue time and again that this number is not really relevant. When you have an employment number that no longer counts people that have given up looking for jobs in frustration, and many others who are woefully underemployed, or taking part time jobs just to keep their heads afloat, the real number would be much higher. My guess would be a real unemployment percentage in the mid teens.
Job growth is also not at a brisk pace due to Obamacare as well. Companies are hesitant to hire new employees for the additional healthcare costs that can bury a small company. Under Obamacare, companies with 50 or more employees are required to provide healthcare. Another issue this mandate has caused is for companies to hire more part time employees, thus skirting the issue of healthcare. So now we have more jobs…but they are not full time jobs…and are not high paying ones. This makes it tougher for those wanting to be in the middle class to achieve it.
California is set to start the Obamacare program early whether people and companies are ready for it or not. I guess they powers at be want to see if they can stress test the system. At this point, I have no idea how much more Obamacare will affect me? I have been self employed for many years. I have chosen to have a higher deductible on my insurance to keep my premiums lower. One section I had read in regards to the new rules of Obamacare was that these higher deductible programs would not be around. This in itself would substantially raise my healthcare premiums. I guess I, like many others, will have to wait and see all the changes that will come from Obamacare. To this point, my premiums have risen over 50% in the last two years. The insurance company cited that Obamacare was the culprit. Thanks Obama!!!…let’s screw the middle class even more…you know…the same people you claim to want to protect.
In economic news: Monday we have consumer credit numbers. Not likely a market mover. In fact, Syria will still be on the minds of everyone and how it will be approached. That and the new debt ceiling talks that have started since we will run out of money in mid October again. Be prepared for more games in congress vs Obama (the ongoing saga).
Tuesday we have the small business index. Another small report in the eyes of the market.
Wednesday we have wholesale inventories. That is real snoozer of a report.
Thursday will be the jobless claim numbers. Last week the numbers were slightly better than expected. To show things are getting better, we need to be in the low 300K range.
Friday we have retail sales numbers. The markets will be looking at these numbers closely as they have bearing on growth of the economy. The producer price index (PPI) will be looked at as well. Seeing if it is costing more for products to be produced gives an indication of inflation. So far we have not seen much in the way of inflation in the reports.
Lastly, of any importance, we have University of Michigan consumer sentiment numbers. I guess attitude is everything, and we will have to see how people feel about the economy and the future.