ROBARE & JONES ON THE MARKETS
The markets edged slightly up this past week. Among other things, Congress asks the Federal Reserve to use its tools to promote price stability and maximum employment. Last week, economic data provided information about both.
Price stability means ensuring the prices of goods and services increase at a slow and stable pace. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that consumer prices rose 5.4 percent, year-over-year in February, excluding food and energy. When food and energy were included, inflation increased 6.4 percent.
Personal income increased, too, but not quite as quickly as inflation did. Not everyone who wants a job has one, but last week’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate was quite low at 3.6 percent, overall. When the statistic is viewed by gender and race:
- Men have a 3.1 percent unemployment rate with 70.6 percent participation,
- Women a 2.8 percent unemployment rate with 57.2 percent participation,
- Asian people a 2.8 percent unemployment rate with 64 percent participation,
- White people a 3.2 percent unemployment rate with 60.3 percent participation,
- Hispanic people a 4.2 percent unemployment rate with 66.4 percent participation, and
- Black people a 6.2 percent unemployment rate with 62.1 percent participation.
Major stock indices finished the week mixed, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. The Treasury yield curve inverted last week with the yield for a 10-year Treasury dropping below the yield for a 2-year Treasury.
Let's take a look at the markets from this past week!
The College Debate!
During the past two decades, pundits across the United States have launched all kinds of debates about college and its importance. They have asked:
- Is college a good investment? In 2011, as the economy and Americans slowly recovered from the Great Recession, the idea that “college, the perennial hope for the next generation, may not be worth the price of the sheepskin on which it prints its degrees,” gained popularity, reported Daniel Smith of New York Magazine.
- Which college majors are worth the cost? As everyone weighed the value of knowledge against the cost of attaining it, news media began reporting on the highest paying college majors. In general, science, technology, engineering and math majors tend to receive the highest incomes after graduation, according to Payscale’s 2021 College Salary Report.
- Should employers remove college degree requirements from job listings? Today, some are looking at the college picture from a different perspective. “According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2010 and 2019, 36% of Americans ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Yet 65% of job listings still require postsecondary education and 61% of HR and business leaders say they throw out resumes without college degrees even if the candidate is qualified,” reported Hunter Johnson in Forbes.
The debate about college costs and payoffs continues. However, some companies are deciding that talent and a strong work ethic are just as important as a college degree, and have begun removing degree requirements for job applicants, reported Glassdoor.
Do you think college today is worth the cost? Let us know!