Robert Hughes joined AIER in 2013 following more than 25 years in economic and financial markets research on Wall Street. Bob was formerly the head of Global Equity Strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman, where he developed equity investment strategy combining top-down macro analysis with bottom-up fundamentals. Prior to BBH, Bob was a Senior Equity Strategist for State Street Global Markets, Senior Economic Strategist with Prudential Equity Group and Senior Economist and Financial Markets Analyst for Citicorp Investment Services. Bob has a MA in economics from Fordham University and a BS in business from Lehigh University.
Articles from Robert Hughes
Payrolls in the United States rose by 223,000 in May, solidly beating an expected rise of 188,000. Gains in the labor market have accelerated recently, reducing fears of a pending slowdown, yet the increases remain modest by historical comparison, suggesting that the slower and somewhat steadier gains of the current cycle may help prolong the expansion.
Total job openings in the United States rose to a record 6.550 million in March while private-sector job openings totaled 5.928 million. Overall, the data relating to the labor market continue to show strength with payrolls rising, few layoffs, rising quits, and a declining number of available workers per opening.
The small-business-optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business fell in March but the result extends a run of 16 consecutive months above 100, a very high level by historical comparison. A significant concern among small businesses is the declining quality of the available labor force, particularly in the context of an already tight labor market and robust plans for increased hiring in the near future.
The employment report was weaker than expected for March, adding just 103,000 new jobs for the month. However, there are a number of tensions among the details of the report and with other measures of the labor market. Certainly, the BLS report could be the first of a string of weaker reports on the labor market and the economy more broadly, but the preponderance of data still support a positive outlook.