Vorisek Financial Weekly Market Update for August 16, 2017

Good morning!

In June 2017, there were 5.2 million Americans that had their employment end either by quitting, being laid off or getting discharged from work (note there are 154 million Americans working today).  Also in June 2017, a significant number of the workers that lost their jobs were part of the 5.4 million Americans that were hired into new jobs.  Surprisingly, American employers still have 6.2 million job openings that they have been unable to fill, an all-time record for an employment statistic that has been tracked by the government since December 2000.  By comparison, domestic employers were posting just 2.1 million job openings in July 2009 as our country was coming out of the 2007-09 global real estate recession (source: Department of Labor). 

There are 48 million Americans that are at least age 65 today, representing 15% of our 326 million citizens.  The number of age 65+ seniors is projected to increase by a net 4,700 per day over the next 18 years through 2035 (to 79 million), i.e., the net 4,700 number is the total of American seniors turning age 65 less deaths in the 65+ age group.  The financial implications of adding 31 million older Americans to the programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid over the next 18 years however has taken a back seat in Congress to the pressing problems of today (source: Social Security).

There are 10 countries in the world that currently maintain the top credit rating from each of the 3 major credit rating agencies, including Australia, Canada, Norway and Germany.  The United States dropped off the short list of top-ranked countries 6 years ago this month (source: Trading Economics). 

Notable Numbers for the Week:

1.     THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY - An average American worker has increased his/her productivity by +99% in the last 40 years, i.e., an average worker can complete in 1 hour as of 6/30/17 the same amount of work that it took him/her 2 hours to finish as of 6/30/77 (source: Department of Labor).

2.     BEHIND THE CURVE - 95% of the companies in the S&P 500 (476 firms) have underfunded pension plans (source: Bloomberg Businessweek). 

3.     DIVERSE - There are as many ordained ministers (8) in the 535 members of Congress as there are engineers (8).  There are 3 veterinarians and 3 psychologists in Congress today (source: Congressional Research Service).

4.     ALL ONE PARTY - Republicans control the governor’s office and the state legislatures in 26 US states, while Democrats have complete control of the state government in just 6 states (source: Washington Examiner).    

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