Strong job creation in May, reported Friday morning, dispelled any chance of a recession in the foreseeable future, sending stock prices higher and capping a strong week of improvement in the outlook for the U.S.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 339,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May -- nearly twice as many as expected by Wall Street. Moreover, jobs continued to be created at a pace on par with the dot-com boom and the comeback after the 2008 global financial crisis, as illustrated by the dotted line in the chart above.
The strong jobs report came the morning after the U.S. Senate voted at 10:30 PM ET Thursday night in favor of a bi-partisan agreement, which Wednesday was approved by the House of Representatives. The agreement delays a comprehensive solution to the sizable national debt until after the 2024 federal election.
With the debt-ceiling crisis of 2023 resolved – at least, for now – the U.S. economy has beaten back yet another threat to its stability. This follows on beating the Covid-19 crisis of 2020-2021 and the inflation crisis of 2022-2023.
The future is always sure to bring more crises. But having beaten the Covid and inflation crises, the financial outlook seems brighter than it’s been in a long time, and the artificial intelligence technology era that began in early 2023 is expected to make U.S. workers materially more productive relative to other major economies in the next five years.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday at 4282.37, up +1.45% from Thursday and about 3% higher than a week ago. The index is +91.40% higher than its March 23, 2020, Covid-19 bear-market low. The bear market began nearly a year ago and the S&P 500 is valued at -10.72% less than its January 3, 2022, all-time high.
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