The Real Deal on Wall Street: Being Blunt on a Bad Jobs Report
Maybe you were able to grab a quick read of the March employment report released on Friday while there were commercials on during the Masters.
If not, then do so today - for the report was a giant disappointment on “The Street.” Although those smartest of smart in the finance field will point to 120,000 jobs created in March as being the showstopper of the report, I take a different stance.
Economic recovery is not gaining momentum but the Federal Reserve may act to change that: Wall Street was bracing for 203,000 jobs added in March after three months of robust, similar gains. Due to 120,000 being well below expectations, Wall Street regained the opinion that the Federal Reserve will do some more of this quantitative easing stuff. Bad report opened up the pathway to possibly friendly actions by the Fed…welcome to “market psychology 101.”
Are the bright spots of the report really bright spots? Major media outlets pointed to “wages being up” and governments cutting “just” 1,000 jobs as being bright spots to a lame repot. Let's rationally think here. Wages increases 0.2%, light years away from what supermarkets are now asking you to pay for that box of cereal compared to April 9, 2011.
Government cutting jobs, much to the dismay of Republicans, indicates limp tax collections as millions of people remain unemployed (we do pay the salary of the FBI, after all). Suddenly a bright spot is a dull spot.
Unemployment rate at 8.2%: The number fell from 8.3% in February. But, the improvement was not “clean” as people were abandoning the search for jobs instead of employers aggressively adding to payrolls. Also the quality of jobs created continues to leave me disappointed.
Weak is not weak enough: Back to that market psychology stuff. Yes, the employment report underwhelmed the masses. For the Federal Reserve to step into action, however, and do more of that QE, employment will have to weaken further. So this report essentially gets caught in a vortex, not being strong enough to support increased stock prices but not being weak enough to get the Fed back in the game.
Stall or no stall? The jobs report not being as robust as prior ones didn't represent a “stall” in the economic recovery, or so said the consensus.
Really? We could swear that 120,000 is lower than the 240,000 jobs created in February and 275,000 added in January.
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