The September jobs report was released this morning meeting some estimates and falling short of others. Payrolls added 142K jobs, far below the 200K forecast while the unemployment rate met expectations and remained steady at 5.1 percent. Average hourly wages remained unchanged. This lackluster jobs report can be attributed to the slowdown in global growth, a strong dollar and falling oil prices that ultimately caused manufacturers and exporters to hesitate before taking on more staff. Accordingly mining, manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors lost jobs. Healthcare, professional services and leisure were the top areas of job gains. This sluggish report and the prior report which was revised down has added to investor jitters that the U.S. economy may be slowing amid the global uncertainty despite the latest solid 3.9% GDP report. Please review page 59 of the Voya Global Perspectives book to see how September’s payroll number stacks up against previous months.
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High profile visits by the Pope and China’s President Xi Jinping didn’t do much for investor sentiment. U.S. stocks got a temporary lift after Fed Chair Janet Yellen asserted she expects a rate hike this year; still, equity markets around the globe finished down to continue a string of weekly losses. Gold prices rose whereas oil prices fell. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield rose on the week to 2.17%.