January Jobs Picture Defies Recession Chatter

If there is to be an imminent recession, then jobs are an even more lagging indicator than ever.

Because this morning’s non-farm payroll report showed a continuation of two important trends: wages are rising and participation in the labor force is growing as workers come off the sidelines.

4.9% headline unemployment combined with rising average hourly earnings (2.5% growth this month) will do that. A tighter employment situation should lead to greater participation and higher pay. The mechanism is functioning.

Here are the details, via Wall Street Journal’s live blog.

As for market reaction, who the f*** knows. I’ve lost track of whether good news was bad or good at this point.

Anyone who tells you they know how the dollar, the 10-year yield or the S&P 500 are going to zig or zag off a jobs report these days is just making it up.

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