Last Friday we joked in our Top 10 Things That Would Happen in the Summer of 2012 that President Obama would not seek a second term to join the new cast of SNL. Well after this number he may have all the time in the world to pursue that gig after all. Two months ago we had a really, really bad NFP number and it has aided in the low rate environment that we are currently in aside from the big daddy EU crisis. It showed back then that the US was feeling the effects of a global economic slowdown even though we were at the time showing some consistent signs of life.
This morning’s number pretty much put the nail in the coffin of any feeling that the US will be ok in-spite of the EU crisis and it may have put the nail in the coffin of a second term for Obama. There is no argument that the US is doing better than our European counterparts but this is not what anyone wanted to see this morning unless you are part of the Romney campaign. The consensus was a gain of 150k jobs but we got an anemic +69k (yes the irony of the number was not lost on me!). We said yesterday that this number would be quickly digested unless it was +200k or <100k.
Well the financial markets initially acted aggressively to this huge miss by the worlds brilliant economist (I need that job). The bond markets were on fire immediately after the number but have cooled considerably and now the 10yr sits at 1.50%. The stock futures were down about 2.00% immediately after the number but since the 9:30 open they are down about 1.35%. I just think that bond investors are seeing enough and are starting to reject these low yields. With the 5yr treasury @ .62% can you blame them? Remember we were at 2.23% on the 10yr @ 8:29 on April 6th. Amazing…
Here are the lowlights of this morning’s NFP number:
- Job gains were +69k which is far below the +150k consensus
- Aprils number was revised down to 77k from 115k
- The unemployment rate increased to 8.2% from 8.1%
- Labor force participation was 63.8%
- If you included discouraged workers the unemployment rate was 14.8% which is up from 14.5%
- Long-term unemployment which are folks out of work for >27 weeks jumped to 5.4mm from 5.1mm
- The average duration of being unemployed rose to 39.7 weeks from 39.1 weeks
- Construction took the biggest hit with 25k jobs lost
This is just simply a horror show and the Obama administration will use all of their creative juices to put a positive spin on this one. I am sure they will blame Congress but the facts are that this administration has spent a ton of stimulus money on job creation but has very little to show for it. Lots of opportunities for the Republicans to push their accomplished business minded candidate.
For those of us who are gratefully working…have a nice weekend.