The Education 529 Channel

Trends in the Teenage Workforce Update

Last July CNN Money featured an article with the optimistic and intriguing title "More American teens are getting jobs. That's good for everyone." After reading the article, we revised one of our monthly charts on Labor Force Participation to include the age 16-19 cohort -- one we elsewhere combine with the 20-24 year-olds. We've updated this article to include the latest employment data.

Is the U.S. Workforce Nearing Full Recovery?

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate, as expected, ticked up from 4.6% to 4.7%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) was below forecast at 156K.

Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is a simple computation: You take the Civilian Labor Force (people age 16 and over employed or seeking employment) and divide it by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (those 16 and over not in the military and or committed to an institution). The result is the participation rate expressed as a percent.

NFIB: Small Business Survey: "Small Business Optimism Skyrocketed in December"

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for November came in at 105.8, a jump of 7.4 from the previous month's 98.4, and its highest since December 2004. The index is at the 98th percentile in this series. Today's number came in well above the forecast of 99.6.

On My Radar: The Bond Market is Facing the “Perfect Storm” plus Latest Equity Market Valuation C

Today, let’s take a look at the most current equity market valuations for they can tell us a great deal about future 7-year and 10-year annualized returns. We’ll also look at the bond market. Total U.S. credit market debt-to-GDP is nearly 355%. Global debt-to-GDP is 325%.

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed Remains High, But Improving

Let's take a close look at Friday's employment report numbers on Full and Part-Time Employment. Buried near the bottom of Table A-9 of the government's Employment Situation Summary are the numbers for Full- and Part-Time Workers, with 35-or-more hours as the arbitrary divide between the two categories. The source is the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) of households. The focus is on total hours worked regardless of whether the hours are from a single or multiple jobs.

Baby Boomer Employment Across Time

The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We've created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present. What we see is essentially the "Boomer Bulge" in employment across time. Those born between 1946 and 1964 continue to grow the employment of the two oldest cohorts. It will be interesting to see how long those two trends continue.

Digging Down on the Trump Effect

Some sort of fund repatriation will be part of the package. All else equal, that suggests a bias to companies that might gain the most. The Atlanta Fed provides some hard data. Expect tax cuts, probably including some nods to Democrats. This will represent fiscal stimulus. Cyclicals continue to show strength, partly from the expectation noted above. (Eddy Elfenbein). The trade war is likely to be a bargaining approach. It is an error to over-react on speculation. The health care issue is far from settled. Early symbolic repeal? Yes. Real changes? Unclear.

Milliman FRM Risk Matters: Low Rates Make the past a Virtually Impossible Prologue

Factors ranging from China’s evolving economy to the rise of nationalism combined to make 2016 a year that will not be quickly forgotten.

The 10 Largest Closet-Index Funds

The flow of assets to passive products over the last several years has increased the pressure on active mutual funds. Analysts are predicting an industry consolidation with the prime target being those funds that track an index but charge relatively high active management fees – the so-called closet-index funds. Here are the 10 largest such U.S. large-cap equity funds.

On My Radar: In 2017…Watch Europe, Watch China and Watch Japan; “Stay Wary, Alert and Very, Very

Included in this week’s On My Radar: -Pension Fund Red Ink – Check Out Your State (Chart) -Foreigners are Dumping Treasury Bonds at Record Rate -The Year in Review -Trade Signals – Strong Dollar, Weak Gold, Equity Trend Up, Bond Trend Down, Sentiment Remains Far Too Optimistic

November New Home Sales Up 5.2% MoM, Surprises Expectations

This morning's release of the November New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 592K, up 5.2% month-over-month from 563K in October. Seasonally adjusted estimates for August, September, and October were revised. The forecast was for 575K.

Give the Gift That Will Last a Lifetime: A College Education

The holidays are upon us again, and many grandparents are looking forward to one of their favorite moments of the season – the delighted smiles of grandkids opening a present they’ve been dreaming of all year. Give it a few weeks, though, and last year’s trendiest toy often becomes this year’s latest giveaway.

The Benefits of Year-End 529 Gifting

The holiday season is here, and so is the deadline for gifting contributions to 529 accounts — an attractive opportunity for those wanting to ease the soaring cost of college for family members.

Has Janus Added Value as an Active Manager?

To see how well Janus’ actively managed funds have performed for its investors, I’ll compare the results of its actively managed equity funds to those of index funds from Vanguard and the structured asset class funds of DFA.