Household Wealth Hit New Record $108.6 Trillion in 1Q


1. Jobs Report For May Was a Big Disappointment
2. Household Wealth Rose at a Record Pace in the 1Q
3. 84% of US Stocks Are Owned by the Wealthiest 10%
4. Over Half of American Households Own No Stocks at All


The Federal Reserve reported last Thursday that US household wealth hit a new high of $108.6 trillion in the 1Q. As I reported two weeks ago, we knew the number hit a new high, but we didn’t know exactly how high until last week. As we now know, the increase in household wealth in the 1Q was the largest ever recorded. I’ll give you the details below.

The most interesting thing I read recently was that 84% of US stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10% of Americans. I knew the number was high but not that high. A related report found that over 50% of US households own no stocks at all. Surprising? I’ll bet!

But before we get to that discussion, let’s take a look at last Friday’s very disappointing jobs report for May. New jobs created last month were less than half of what was expected, even though the headline unemployment rate remained unchanged at a 50-year low.

As you probably heard, the US and Mexico reached some kind of agreement on trade late last week, and President Trump announced over the weekend that he was holding off on the tariffs that were to go into effect yesterday. I’m not convinced that this issue is behind us, so I’ll withhold comments until we have more details.

Jobs Report For May Was a Big Disappointment

Job creation decelerated sharply in May, with nonfarm payrolls up by just 75,000 even as the unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low, the Labor Department reported Friday. The decline was the second in four months when payrolls increased by less than 100,000. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a gain of 180,000 in May, so the report was a big disappointment

In addition to the weak total for May, the previous two months’ reports saw substantial downward revisions. March’s count was revised down from 189,000 previously reported to 153,000, and the April total was taken down to 224,000 from 263,000, for a total reduction of 75,000 jobs for the two previous months.