Employment outlook going into 2018

People who have jobs buy beef. If the November jobs report is an indication, demand should remain strong.

Nevil Speer

December 14, 2017

1 Min Read
Employment outlook going into 2018

As we finish the final few weeks of 2017, the focus for Industry At A Glance will be external.  That is, this column will highlight several key indicators regarding the strength of the economy.  Those indicators include the current employment situation, consumer confidence and S&P earnings, respectively. 

Focusing on the economy is important with respect to potential beef demand as we transition into 2018. One of the key components for demand of any product (including beef) involves consumer expectations; in general, better expectations translate to stronger demand, all other things being equal.

That said, the November jobs report was solid. Employers added 228,000 jobs in November – thereby keeping unemployment at a 17-year low. The 12-month moving average has consistently hovered just around 200,000 jobs. The consistency is somewhat surprising given the extended duration of the current recovery since the sharp plunge in jobs associated with the financial crisis in ’08 and ’09.


The current employment situation will undoubtedly be an important topic of discussion going into the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting. With all that in mind, what’s your general assessment of the current state of the economy? Will consumers spending remain robust as we come out of the holiday season? How do you perceive economic conditions going forward? How might this translate for beef demand in 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related:Employment numbers in early 2017

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky.

About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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