Friday, February 06, 2004

Job Growth is Not Strong

No matter what this article tells you.

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- The major U.S. stock indexes were mixed Friday after data showed that the jobless rate fell to the lowest level in two years and that job growth was strong, but not quite as strong as expected.
The technology sector cheered a strong quarterly report from telecom equipment maker Ericsson, while blue chip stocks were clipped by declines in United Technologies and General Electric, which more than offset a rally in McDonald's.

The U.S. Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 112,000 in January, the strongest one-month gain since December 2000, but was below expectations of growth of 150,000 or more. The unemployment rate fell 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent, vs. expectations of a rise to 5.8 percent, to the lowest level in two years.

112,000 in a month is anemic job growth. The expectations of 150,000 were expectations of a labor market which is just barely maintaining the status quo.

Not all non-negative job growth is "strong."