Stocks higher as January jobs report smashes estimates despite government shutdown

“Job growth in January shattered expectations, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 304,000 despite a partial government shutdown that was the longest in history, the Labor Department reported Friday,” Jeff Cox reports for CNBC. “The unemployment rate ticked higher to 4 percent, a level where it had last been in June, a likely effect of the shutdown, according to the department. However, officials said federal workers generally were counted as employed during the period because they received pay during the survey week of Jan. 12. On balance, federal government employment actually rose by 1,000.”

“Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected payrolls to rise by 170,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.9 percent,” Cox reports. “In all, it was a powerful performance at a time when economists increasingly have said they expect growth to slow in 2019.”

“The job creation saw muted wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising just 3 cents on the month, or 0.1 percent, well below the 0.3 percent expected gain. On a year-over-year basis, though, that still amounted to a 3.2 percent increase, consistent with the past few months and around the highest levels of the recovery,” Cox reports. “Multiple sectors helped contribute to the spike in job creation. Services rose by 224,000 and goods-producing industries increased by 72,000. Leisure and hospitality added 74,000 positions, with the biggest gain coming in bars and restaurants, which rose by 37,000. Construction saw a gain of 52,000, bringing its 12-month total to 338,000. Elsewhere, health care contributed 42,000, bringing its yearly gain to 368,000. Transportation and warehousing added 27,000 and retail grew by 21,000 following a year where the sector showed a total gain of just 26,000. Professional and business services were up 30,000 and manufacturing increased by 13,000, bringing that sector’s 12-month total to 261,000.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, this is good news for the U.S. economy and for Apple (the U.S. is by far Apple’s largest market), as consumers with discretionary income are more likely to purchase Apple’s products and services.

U.S. job creation surged way more than expected in December – report – January 3, 2019


      1. I’d rather hear college professors explain the complexities and take a nonpartisan long term view.

        Faux news and the like, as you know, is a propaganda outfit, Murdoch / Mercer / etc makes money by slinging mud. The talking heads there are mostly college dropouts. Their only talent is reading a character assault script.

        The economy is fine. But it would be better without the trade wars. It would be better if instead of demanding to waste $6 billion more taxpayer money they would BALANCE the budget. Problem is, the damage caused by stupid management like deficits and shutdowns and short term budgets etc are not felt for months or years. So the propagandists will deny long term reality to spin their short term tales. They will report opinion surveys and stock prices instead of actual reliable economic indicators. Bush and Trump can feed you a sugar high economy but eventually debt has to be paid. Why’s nobody advocating hard work and fiscal restraint to get debt under control?

        Consider this: if media from all sides tried to find and report the long term truth, then people’s attitudes would be pulled to “political center”, with everyone revering in knowing reality. With the artificial 2 party system now controlled by oligarchs, they fight to obscure the truth and discredit the other side. The nation is weak and getting worse as the bickering confused public is brainwashed into political extremes. You can see this day by day as the nation divides itself. How long will such a house stand????

        Nobody can agree on any common ground so nothing gets fixed. Artificial crises are invented to distract from the real problems. Bipolar disorder will kill any democracy. USA and UK are now going off the rails thanks to misinformation campaigns. If you really wanted to make America great, you’d put 100% of Americans and their needs and ideas ahead of partisan bullshit that is specifically designed to disenfranchise half the nation and scapegoat all problems on the few dozens of illegal immigrants that might have made it across the deserts. White privileged US born psycos have killed more Americans in the last few years than the complete total killings of all illegal border crossers— and you can look it up if you want to know the truth.

  1. While its good to see job creation up, this is far from a “Home Run!” report, because it noted that Unemployment notched up slightly and wage growth fell to be less than inflation.

    Which means that MDN’s spin of “more discretionary money” (to go buy more Apple toys) is flat-out wrong.

    Specifically, for 2018, Wage Growth was only +0.1% above Inflation. That means for a household earning $100K, they have an extra $100 … for the entire year … in their pocket. That’s not enough extra discretionary income to buy even 1/4 of a new iPhone.

    In looking forward, Jan 2019’s Wage Growth was down 66% from expected, to only +0.1%. If this +0.1%/mo rate holds, it is likely to be less than Inflation, which means less money for discretionary purchases, not more.

    Insofar as just how much less, 2019’s inflation has been forecast at 1.9%, which compared to a 0.1%/month wage growth rate would indicate a deficit of (1.2% – 1.9%) = -0.7% below Inflation. For the same $100K household who gained +$100 in 2018, this means that they’ll have $700 LESS effective income for the year.

    1. Side note:

      Job growth reports for Nov & Dec 2018 were revised, and a net downwards of -70,000 jobs was noted. As per (2/1/19):

      “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from +176,000 to +196,000, and the change for December was revised down from +312,000 to +222,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 70,000 less than previously reported.”

      There’s a couple of ways to slice this; one simple approach is to subtract the correction from the current month and then compare current to its expectations. Here, that would be 304K – 70K = 234K vs expectations of 170K … that’s just a very average month (not really a huge bump), which if memory serves is pretty much the same as the average job growth performance for the 2012-2016 and 2017-2018 periods.

  2. Although slightly different, these “surveys” are about as accurate as polls indicating Clinton would be President. People are so gullible!

    Marx Brothers quote “its easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

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