‘Very, very solid job market’: February jobs document released

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This has an immediate effect on everything, right? You owe our lives everything. Just in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics just announcing how many jobs were added to the economy in February. Christine Romans here with the numbers. So a lot of hiring.

This is good or bad. If you are looking for a job, it's good. If you have a job and you're job hopping, it's good. It is a strong job market. 311,000 jobs added. And we know it was a blockbuster report in January that was revised down.

A little bit to 504,000. That's still a very, very big number. This shows you that businesses are hiring despite those headlines you've seen of tech companies that have been laying people off. They hired a lot during the pandemic. Despite those headlines, this is a very, very strong job market.

3.6% is the unemployment rate went up a little bit. That's because about 400,000 people came off the sidelines and started looking for work. So that's an unemployment rate rising for a good reason. People are hearing from friends.

They know that there are plentiful jobs and so they're out looking for work now. And then the sectors, guys, the leisure, hospitality, hiring a lot of people retail, government jobs. So we broke out for a lot of just a lot of jobs across the board. So it's good for employees, bad for employers, bad for the Fed. Yeah.

So a good economy could eventually be bad news for Americans because it means the Fed has to continue to raise interest rates. You've got wages up 4.6%. That's great. I mean, people's paychecks are unequivocally bigger.

But it's feeding into the inflation story. And so the Fed thinks that inflation staying too high is more dangerous than maybe trying to cool off the job market a little bit. So I know it's upside down. Well, it's weird.

Because everybody I talked to and they said just yesterday I was having breakfast with a bunch of folks and they said, Don, we're so confused. When you guys talk about the economy, you get the new jobs numbers in the stock market.

Everything's going gangbusters. But again, it's bad. What do I don't know what to say to them. You know, it's it's interesting because we kind of broke all the the models after COVID. And so we're trying we have a very confusing picture of the economy.

The underlying strength of the economy over the past six weeks has been undeniable. The consumer retail sales, the job market and inflation is still too high. All of this is a function of us, of a strong recovery.

In the economy. And while that is good news, it feels like good news. If it feeds into inflation and inflation gets entrenched, then that slows growth and then that can cause a recession. And the question.

Everyone is paying close attention to this, not just us, it's the White House, our senior White House correspondent and daily is on the line. M.J., obviously, they are always looking closely to this. You reported they were looking for this Goldilocks.

Number, got a lot higher than Goldilocks. It's way more than expected. What's the reaction you're hearing so far? Yeah, Caitlin, the number that White House officials had really been hoping to see was something in the mid 200.

So you're right that this is a little bit bigger than that. But I can say I suspect that they're going to be pretty pleased with this. You know, that Goldilocks number that we talk about they wanted something.

That wasn't too big like like what we saw in the month of January when the economy added more than 500,000 jobs. That was frankly shocking to a lot of economists. But they obviously also always want to see strength and robustness.

In the jobs market. And so much of this has to do with being on federal reserve watch. They knew and very much took note inside the building behind me when Jerome Powell said.

In recent days and suggested that if there are more indicators of the jobs market is just too hot, that the labor market is too hot, that, yeah, the central bank could bring back more aggressive interest rate hikes.

That's not something that the White House wants to see. But at the same time, this is almost sort of been a good problem for the White House to have. You know, they know that the labor market being too strong and being too hot can lead to more aggressive.

Interest rate hikes. But at the same time, they're always going to say, look, more jobs being added, more paychecks going out to Americans. That is essentially a good thing. And, you know, I don't have to tell you the issue of the economy,.

The issue of inflation. Those are some of the most important political issues for this White House. And for Democrats heading into 20, 24. So they're always going to sort of root for strength in the jobs market. And they do basically feel like they have a good story to tell on the economy.

But again, inflation is the one sort of intractable problem that this president has faced. And they very much want to see that trend to continue in a downward manner. Yeah, we'll see what President Biden says when he speaks out.

MJ, Christine, thank you both so much for breaking down those massive, very hot jobs numbers today. CNN Economics and political commentator Catherine Rampell joining us this morning. So here's what I think.

And I don't think I'm the only one, right? I think a number of viewers and Americans in general struggle with as well. So we have this strong jobs report, right? So the jobs market is still hot. Looking at some of those sectors, you had pretty significant gains.

In leisure and hospitality and in retail. So people are needed in those sectors, which means people are spending money. And we know the US economy depends on consumer spending. Inflation is still too high, though. So what are we supposed to make of all of this sort of a similar formula.

That we've been seeing? How do I put it all in perspective this morning, Catherine? It is legitimately confusing. This is the 11th consecutive month when forecasters have expected much lower job growth than we got And it's weird. I mean, we've had eight rate hikes, eight interest rate hikes.

A lot of people were expecting, if not a slowdown, maybe even a recession. But this recession is like Waiting for Godot. You know, it's like people keep thinking it's around the corner and then it never arrives,.

Which is generally good news, right? I mean, nobody's really rooting for a recession. But it is puzzling how the economy has been able to maintain its strength, how the job market has been able to maintain its strength. Given these predictions,.

And given the great stress on the economy today. So you're not alone. It's it's hard to make sense of. First of all, very good literary reference there. Second of all, the Fed is trying this balance, right? They listen,.

We should be celebrating a strong job market. That means Americans can find jobs and get paid. By the way, the pay is going up as well. But trouble is, prices are still staying high. The Fed and I understand you and me and folks watching.

Want to get those prices down. Why aren't the interest rate hikes working so far? It's pretty aggressive ramp up. And how far do you see them needing to go before they begin to have an effect? Again, it's a little bit unclear. Is this about.

There's just a longer lag between the time when the Fed raises interest rates and it's really felt in the economy or maybe we don't know what the alternative universe would have been. Maybe the economy would have been.

Even stronger, booming even more. Absent these rate hikes, I also wonder to what extent fiscal policy is still playing a role in in helping the economy expand, especially at the state level. Most states have cut taxes in the past year.

Almost every state has cut taxes in the past two years. So that's still giving people money to spend. That might be part of the explanation here. Know, we also don't know if if our headline numbers.

Are capturing all of the stress that's out there. There might be something we're missing in part because of this weird economy. You tweeted yesterday, I'm paraphrasing here, but if I remember,.

It seems the effect of no matter what the jobs report shows, the Fed is going to be mad. How does the Fed deal with this latest bit of data Well, what I said was people will be mad at the Fed. Very sorry about that. Very challenging. That's okay. They're not that different.

But I think the Fed is in a really challenging position because we have these contradictory signals, strong jobs market, some stress in the financial sector. Inflation too high, maybe send signals that some of those pressures might be coming down,.

But then they reverse themselves. So who knows? I think the Fed is looking at this report and saying, hmm, the job market still looks stronger than we anticipated. There are some signs that monetary policy is doing we want it to do.

But it's not sufficient. Next week, we will get new inflation data. I think that there's going to be a lot of attention paid to those data, and that will affect what the Fed does. But I think we should anticipate rate hikes continuing for a while. You said something interesting there.

You said that part of the inflationary push here are tax cuts at the state level because all that in the political environment, all the criticism has been leveled at COVID relief money going back a couple of years now. But but are you saying that there's.

There's inflationary tax policy at the state level? Yes. I mean, I don't know how big the magnitude is, but states have had these huge budget surpluses in the last few years. That's partly.

Because the economy has been quite strong and they have strong tax revenues. It's also partly because they got a lot of money from Congress. So they have a lot of money to play with. And that money was supposed to be used, of course, for making investments.

In schools and various other things. And to some extent, it's been used to just hand it back over to taxpayers in the form of property rate cuts, income tax cuts, etc.. And so we don't have a great sense because there isn't like a central database,.

A central repository that tells us how that money is flowing through to taxpayers. But I think it's quite possible that that's part of the story here. People have more money to play with. Catherine Rampell always good to talk to you. Appreciate it. Thanks.

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3 thoughts on “‘Very, very solid job market’: February jobs document released

  1. If the fed would now not lower charges on monday, uncover your cash out of your monetary institution while you may possibly maybe maybe be ready to. Banks absorb mountainous unrealized losses attributable to the fleet rising of charges.

  2. Is Biden announcing these are new jobs or a earn manufacture? Within the occasion you part the job loses with new jobs created, the on-line manufacture of jobs is detached a significant deficiency of jobs

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