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It’s Starting: Manufacturing And Agriculture Jobless Claims Are Rising

Summary

The trade war is starting to have a noticeable effect on the jobs market.

Jobless claims within the manufacturing and agriculture sector have been rising since the 2nd half of last year.

This could be an early signal of a broader trend within the economy.

The U.S. economy is essentially at full employment but the trade war might finally be turning things in the other direction. Jobless claims in a number of manufacturing- and agriculture-heavy have been noticeably rising since the original Trump tariffs were imposed.

This shouldn't be terribly surprising since tariffs increase costs and sap demand. These two market segments have perhaps been the most impacted by trade policy and could be a leading indicator of the start of a larger, broader trend of rising unemployment. The headline economic numbers still look strong but are also masking concerns that are building within subsegments of this market.

This one could be signaling that the best times are behind us.

Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal for this chart.