Dear Rundown Reader,
Here’s an eyewitness account of the labor shortage in North Dakota:
“The Fargo metro area is about 250,000 people. I don’t think that qualifies for rural.
But we do have a chronic shortage of talent.
“Being a large oil and coal producer with related industries, North Dakota has 100 plus years of supply so we can offer high-paying jobs with a future.
“Agriculture is big with low taxes and lower cost of living than most areas. Several highly rated universities and so on…
“I think the problem is the youth. Millennials and below do not seem to think there is labor involved with work. The ‘Where is my prize, I showed up for work?’ attitude is disturbing but common.
“Thirty-five percent of high school graduates do not need or should get college degrees. Their abilities and talent are suited for the trades and the trades pay well.
“Offering training is needed but shunned by the more highly-educated elite. I think the currently regulated education curriculum is geared toward college prep instead of trades.
“Truckers make more than bookkeepers, plumbers more than junior bankers, electricians more than educators and oil producers more than most managers.
“That is our employment shortage.”
Millenials do get a bad rap. To be fair, the reader writes from his own experience. Yours might be very different?
We appreciate your feedback.
Your Rundown for Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Slip Sliding Away
Oil’s officially in a bear market — its price has slipped 20% since October.
So what’s up? And what does it mean for the broader market?
Good questions. Hard to answer.
Here’s what we know:
- U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports went into effect Nov. 5
- Saudi Arabia (OPEC) wants to cut oil production
- Trump wants oil production to stay at current levels
- U.S. oil production is ramping up; OPEC fears an oversupply
- Canada’s Cenovus Energy wants Alberta’s government to implement temporary production cuts
In a nutshell.
So what’s oil’s slide mean for the equities market?
Well, at one time, there seemed to be a direct correlation — a negative one, that is.
Historically, when oil’s price was up, the S&P 500 was down. And vice versa. Again, that’s the simplified version.
Then, during the mid-aughts and a couple years of the Great Recession, the market and the price of oil tracked one another. Weird.
If you look at the chart, however, the negative correlation’s back. This indicator’s something to keep in mind when trying to predict the next bear market, but it’s a bellwether to hold loosely.
Market Rundown for Wed. November 14, 2018
S&P 500 is down 13 points to 2,706.
Oil is up 85 cents to $56.54.
Gold is up $1.50 to $1,202.90.
Bitcoin is way down; it’s dropped $482 to $5,856.70.
Have a good day. We’ll talk tomorrow.
For the Rundown,