If there’s one silver lining for the political left, it’s that Donald Trump knows how to get the ball rolling. Unlike the usual campaign trail rhetoric, Trump has proven — in areas in which he is strongest — that he’ll walk the talk. Certainly, he’s not going to do it in the most diplomatic of fashions, but do it he will.
That at least is cause for celebration for job seekers, as well as investors of job stocks.
Case in point is heating and cooling appliances company Carrier. Throughout the campaign cycle, Trump lashed out at firms outsourcing their employment opportunities to places like Mexico and China. Although plenty of American businesses are guilty of this, the President-elect had particular animus towards Carrier.
With a quick visit and a few apparently forceful words, Trump “saved” about a thousand employees from getting pink-slipped. If that’s not enough for people to get excited about job stocks, I don’t know what is!
Here’s the thing, though — I perfectly understand the reason why some folks are hesitant about job stocks because of Trump. He’s not a politician, and that’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, we’re going to get straight talk, even on the most controversial of issues. On the other, there’s a fine line when the talk becomes too straight.
His unfiltered attacks on foreign trade deals and the economic policies of our international partners have raised more than a few eyebrows. Worse yet, the consequences aren’t just limited to burnt bridges. China, which has borne the brunt of the “full Donald,” has seen its markets tumble in the wake of the 2016 election. Obviously, that’s not the most conducive environment for global job stocks.
However, like Trump says, this is about “America First.” It will be an uncertain future for our geopolitical relations, there’s no doubt about that. But American workers can rely on one absolute — this is a president that’s going to fight for them, consequences be damned!
Here are four job stocks that are climbing the ladder of Trump’s America.
Job Stocks to Buy: ManpowerGroup (MAN)
With 2,900 offices across 80 countries and territories, ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE:MAN) is one of the most recognized names among job stocks. Of course, that’s not necessarily a benefit for branches located in countries that are part of Trump’s “hit list.”
Despite these obvious challenges, Manpower has embraced this new era with gusto.
Year-to-date, MAN stock is up a respectable 6%. However, much of those gains have occurred over the past several weeks. Since the Nov. 8 election day, Manpower has clocked in at 13%. Moreover, market value for MAN stock has steadily increased from mid-September. The resultant bullishness pushed shares well above its 50- and 200-day moving averages.
One of the reasons why Manpower is such an outperformer for job stocks is its diversity of businesses. Unlike some competitors, MAN isn’t just a job placement firm. It also offers talent management services, as well as professional development curriculums. These divisions provide another layer of revenue from organizations that aren’t looking to add headcount, but to make the most of what they already have.
While it seems crazy, Donald Trump is positively impacting job stocks — and that’s great news for MAN shareholders.
Job Stocks to Buy: Robert Half (RHI)
When it comes to helping out individual workers, Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) is second to none among job stocks. It’s not just for the fact that it has a wide array of services. RHI has multiple temporary and direct-hire opportunities, which they keep filling on a regular basis.
Additionally, the business units of RHI are split among different specialties and experience levels.
This is particularly helpful for new graduates who are seeking work for the first time. Such candidates are more than likely light on real-world experiences. Robert Half caters to this crowd by assigning talent representatives that are specifically trained to make the most out of this demographic. More experienced workers, on the flipside, are assigned reps that won’t waste their time searching for just any job.
The intelligence that RHI puts into their business is evidently much appreciated by Wall Street. On a year-to-date basis, Robert Half stock is up a little under 4%, but the real story is what happened since Trump took the election by storm, with shares gaining an astounding 26%-plus.
Indeed, if the real estate mogul had lost, RHI could have been deep underwater. Instead, Robert Half is one of the best job stocks this year.
That, as the president-elect would say, is “big league.”
Job Stocks to Buy: Kelly Services (KELYA)
Although a bit on the smaller side compared to the well-known job stocks, Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) is still a name that you don’t want to ignore.
Similar to its larger counterparts, KELYA offers a wide range of employment placement and training services. It also covers multiple job sectors, but it’s primarily focused on entry-level and blue-collar opportunities.
This is where things get interesting. One of the reasons why Trump was so popular and ultimately won the election was because of his promises to restore America’s manufacturing base. Working-class Americans throughout hard hit “Rust belt” states ate up the straight talk and hopeful messages. It wouldn’t be too much a stretch to say that KELYA stock provides a real-time index to Trump’s successes — or failures.
So far at least, the signs are looking great. Since Nov. 8, Kelly has generated more than 21% returns in the markets. But what’s especially conspicuous is the consistency of performance. Unlike many other job stocks, KELYA has been steadily moving upward throughout the year. As proof, its YTD tally adds up to a whopping 44% profit.
If this trend for Kelly continues, Trump could easily become a two-term president.
Job Stocks to Buy: Kforce (KFRC)
In the financial markets, bigger doesn’t always translate into better. Kforce Inc. (NASDAQ:KFRC) is a prime example. While other job stocks boast about global expansion and outreach into new markets, KFRC sticks to what it knows best — higher paying jobs in lucrative fields such as finance, technology and healthcare.
As proof of their concept, KFRC recently won the “Best of Staffing Talent Satisfaction” award. Criterions for the honor include the responsiveness and helpfulness of talent representatives, and prospects’ satisfaction with their job placements. In other words, KFRC isn’t just a mindless, headhunting factory — they want to cultivate an ongoing relationship with the best workers available.
Admittedly, most of 2016 hasn’t been favorable to KFRC. Right before Election Day, shareholders were staring at a 29% loss for the year. Suddenly, Donald Trump changed everything. Along with his victory, he took KFRC on an unprecedented ride. In a month-and-a-half, the talent agency is up nearly 39%.
I think the President-elect has gone a bit overboard with taking credit for things questionably related to him, but I’m more than happy to give him KFRC.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.