Stock market rises to new highs as unemployment rate falls

The U.S. stock market rose to all-time highs today as the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent in April, its lowest rate since December 2008.

The economy added 165,000 jobs in April, exceeding analyst expectations, as the unemployment rate dipped from 7.6 percent in March.

Not coincidentally, the new home construction rate climbed 7 percent in April.

The news created a new spark on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed over the 15,000 mark for the first time ever, rising more than 170 points this morning. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose over the 1,600 mark for the first time.

“It’s a heck of a lot better than other economic indicators were suggesting,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, told about the latest jobs report.

“This is an outstanding jobs report,” Darrell Cronk, a New York-based regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, told Bloomberg. “The data is strong enough to confirm that the expansion is intact, and the bones of this recovery are where they need to be.”

With the news of the added jobs, Milwaukee-based Manpower predicted the skills gap will become more severe, and the company today advised manufacturers to commit to private-public sector task forces for developing market-specific solutions to address the skills shortage impacting the U.S. manufacturing industry.

“Innovative manufacturing and prototyping enterprises are growing in the U.S., but hiring in manufacturing is not as robust as we’d like to see,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “Contemporary U.S. manufacturing means highly unique and relevant design, however, many manufacturers can’t find the skilled talent needed to competitively accelerate their R&D, CAD/CAM and production cycles, which are required for staying competitive in the Human Age.”

“Working together, employers and educators can bring added focus and prestige to increasingly technical manufacturing roles, ultimately attracting more young people to these important professions,” said Jorge Perez, ManpowerGroup senior vice president, North America. “Most people don’t realize that careers in manufacturing today are innovative and creative and require not only high-level skills to operate technical equipment and machines, but also problem-solving and collaborative skills to drive results. Techs in manufacturing are in demand and individuals with the right skills and certification can count on steady employment and excellent earning potential. We need to encourage more young people to see manufacturing as a career path. At the same time, manufacturers need to reach out to young people and build collaborative training alliances with educators to sustain a high-skilled labor pool for years to come.”

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