They Took Our Jobs?

Posted: March 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

NFP Day (non-farm payrolls) Day is upon us. Our monthly ritual of guessing the number and gathering around the TV tuned to CNBC every first Friday of the month is here. At 8:30 we will dissect, discuss, trade and forget the data. There will be revisions and divisions. Unemployment will be measured, rate hikes bet upon and economists interviewed. Bill Gross should be quite popular today.If you’re living in the Wall Street bubble you would like that days like this are ever so important. With the Fed being so data dependent and there being an FOMC meeting next week, how can it not be?

Truth is though for the average investor today is just another day, just another benign trading Friday. Unfortunately, because the financial media needs to fill 12 hours of content everyday NFP day has become a great source of meaningless content. Of course there is some value in the numbers. Employment is the cornerstone of our consumption economy. And consumption is a huge driver of GDP. If we are to continue to grow our economy we need to consume…..and there in lies a problem.

As a country and an economy we are at an inflection point, if you realize it or not it does not matter, its here and its a little scary. For many traditional workers, especially those of you on assembly lines, manufacturing and transport you’re lively hood is under attack. Not by scary immigrants or corporations moving jobs overseas but by innovation. As technology advances many of the traditional “American” blue collar jobs are being squeezed out by technological advances. Automation has been putting humans out of work for hundreds of years and its continuing to do so at a rapid pace. A factory can now purchase a machine run by an algorithm to efficiently produce, pack and ship their products. A computer can measure its quality and make sure its being transported in a manner of minutes. Effectively putting the entire human supply chain out work. Lastly, said product can now be shipped on a driver less, electric truck. So taking a step back automation has put the entire supply chain out of work. These are typically the blue collar union jobs held by hard working Americans. Whats going to happen to them? What is going to happen to our economy if a significant portion of them are out of work and have limited education and limited skills? I wish I had an answer to that questions. Inquiring minds, smarter than my own are working on this problem while the same time engineers are working hard to develop the next program to put you out of work. Fact is these issues are not being discussed in the main stream, not by POTUS, Congress or the media. It is much easier to attack immigrants and corporations than it is to attack innovation. The future is scary, the unknown is what makes it so. So as we are celebrating another month of beating expectations on the NFP number just remember these good times because unless we legislate against innovation and profitability these NFP days are going to come to an end and no slogan or sales pitch is going to change that.

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