1.4 Million Jobs Added in First Half of 2014

Another strong report from the Labor Department today has the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking up.

Jul 3, 2014 at 12:49PM
Take The Long View

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 86 points, or 0.51%, in early afternoon trading Thursday. This movement sent the index above the 17,000 mark for the first time in its history.

The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) and Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) were also on the rise.

Jobs, jobs, and even more jobs!
Propelling the broad-based buying were two positive economic reports, led by the Labor Department's jobs numbers for June.

The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in the month, crushing analyst expectations. The unemployment rate declined to 6.1% from 6.3% in May. Each of the past five months has seen job growth in excess of 200,000 jobs, the first such streak since the 1990s.

Economists revised the reports for both May and April higher as well, bringing the total number of new jobs added so far in 2014 to 1.4 million.

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls Chart

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls data by YCharts.

Over the past 12 months, 2.3 million Americans have found jobs. Particularly notable is the acceleration in job growth over the past six months -- 0.9 million in the second half of 2013 versus 1.4 million in the first half of this year.

This acceleration comes as GDP declined 2.9% in the first quarter.

Wages also increased 0.2% for the month, bringing the total increase to 2% over a trailing 12-month period. Wage increases are an indication of improving growth and future economic improvements as workers have more income to spend, propelling the economy further.

Trade deficits narrow
Lost in the shadow of today's jobs report, new Commerce Department import and export data indicates that the U.S. export market is recovering as well. The trade deficit narrowed to $44.4 billion in May, driven by rising exports and a pullback in imports. April's trade deficit was revised to $47 billion.

Exports of automobiles and consumer goods led the way, growing 6.1% and 2.6%, respectively. Petroleum exports remained strong: excluding petroleum-related products, the deficit would have widened by about $200 million.

On the import side, weakness in industrial supplies and food and beverages reduced overall imports after two months of gains. Increases in imports of automobiles and capital goods slightly offset the weakness.

Despite the positive report today, economists still expect the trade gap to drag on second-quarter GDP. The U.S. economy continues to recover at a faster clip than other global powers, while growth in the emerging markets has cooled. For the next few quarters this imbalance will likely constrain exports on lower global demand, while U.S. demand will provide strength on the import side. 

More positives than negatives for the U.S. economy
Taken together, today's data releases are a major positive for the U.S. economy. Momentum is gathering in the labor market after a frustratingly slow five years of recovery. Strong data from across the economy continues to point to first-quarter GDP as a anomaly that will likely be offset by a strong number for the second quarter.

Say Goodbye to "Made in China"
"Made in China" -- an all too familiar phrase. But not for much longer: There's a radical new technology out there, one that's already being employed by the U.S. Air Force, BMW and even Nike. Respected publications like The Economist have compared this disruptive invention to the steam engine and the printing press; Business Insider calls it "the next trillion dollar industry." Watch The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation to learn about the next great wave of technological innovation, one that will bring an end to "Made In China" for good. Click here!

Jay Jenkins has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers