March 8, 2019 A Swing-and-a-Miss: February Jobs by Lester Murray

For those playing the expectations game, the 20k increase in Non-Farm Payrolls was nowhere near the 180k that experts were predicting for this morning's release of the Labor Department's February Jobs report. But, through the magic of statistics the Unemployment Rate fell by two-tenths to 3.8%.  The best news was the 3.4% rise in year-over-year Average Hourly Earnings; slightly larger than expected. Average Weekly Hours fell by 0.1. The Labor Force Participation Rate held steady at 63.2% while the U6 "Underemployment Rate" plunged to 7.3% from 8.1%. The Civilian Labor Force fell by 45k and the number of those not in the Labor Force grew by 198k. Stocks are opening weaker on the news while bonds continue yesterday's rally. Treasury's Ten-Year yield is just a nudge over 2.60%