John Ransom

Outside of the rarified circles of the White House, Wall Street, economists and journalists with great defined-benefits plans, this is the kind of spontaneous publicity that makes people wanna cry.

The new jobs report is out! The new jobs report is out!

The good news is that the stock market thinks the jobs report is very good news.

But that’s not exactly good news is it? South Carolina could fall into the ocean and the market would rally on word the Federal Reserve Bank is ready to extend quantitative easing into another millennia. The next day, the market would move higher as word spread that unemployment ticked down as drowned Carolinians exited the workforce.

The bad news is that once again Wall Street, like Washington, has it exactly backwards.

Wall Street rocketed on the news.

Can you detect when the jobs report came out from five-minute chart above?

New jobs came in for the month at 113,000, while unemployment ticked down another 0.1 percent to 6.6 percent. Economists expected jobs to come in at 180,000 to 190,000. That’s a 68 percent miss.

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6 percent,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. “Employment grew in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining.”

It’s depressing, but not for the obvious reasons.

It’s depressing because the numbers are wrong in a way that should strike fear and dread into the heart of every honest citizen.

Why?

Because they don’t add up. Again.

The government has once again found a novel way to goose the employment numbers so that they say what they really can’t say:

Things are getting better, gosh darn it!


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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