US Labor & Elf on the Shelf

Both hard at work!

Anyone with Santa-believing-aged children is likely familiar with Elf on the Shelf™. It’s yet another invention that I’m mad about not thinking of first! If you are not familiar, the elf is simply a small elfin-looking doll dressed in a Santa outfit. The short version is that the elf is watching how the children behave and reporting their good or bad behavior back to The Man (Santa).

As the story goes, the elf only moves around at night while the kids are sleeping (a little creepy), so the parents are forced to remember to actually move said doll each evening. I know many parents (including us) have often forgotten this frankly pain in the rear tradition, and have had to introduce such lame excuses as, “He must have really liked that spot!” Oh, and the Elf is NOT to be touched or he will lose his magic and not be able to report back to Santa (or something like that).

As you can imagine, the elf (parents) is hard at work this time of year. And, since kids aren’t allowed to touch the elf, the ingenious company behind this “tradition” has introduced Elf Pets! Yay! 😊 The pets CAN be touched and played with, and they tend to follow the elf to his perch each morning. One of our awesome clients gives my kids a new elf pet each year.

Coleman trying to act too cool for the Elf Pet!

Similar to the elf, the US labor force also continues to be hard at work. And, I feel that this is one of the reasons that the economy still continues to grow (albeit a bit slower than last year), and the markets may continue to stave off a correction. In addition, wage growth is also slowly returning to its 50-year average.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, JP Morgan Asset Management. Data are as of 11/26/19

As we have often said, there will never be a time when we as investors all sit back and say, ‘Everything’s perfect!’ But, the chart above is a good example of what we look at when attempting to move beyond all of the negative noise with which we are constantly bombarded.

Here’s hoping that we as parents remember to move the elf for the next 14 or so nights and wage growth continues toward its average!

Categories : Financial Planning

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