CNBC analyst Rick Santelli was beside himself on Friday as he reacted on the air to the latest federal data showing that American employers added 528,000 new jobs in July — more than double the anticipated number.
“It is a whopper!” Santelli told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday.
Economists expected that there would be an additional 250,000 jobs in July, prompting Santelli to say: “528,000! 528,000, basically double the expectations! And 528,000 is the best number since February when we were over 700,000, revisions to the last two months are 28,000.”
Maria Bartiromo, the Fox Business news anchor, was similarly stunned when the latest jobs figures were announced on Friday morning.
“Wow, that’s pretty incredible,” Bartiromo, a strident critic of the Biden administration, said live on the air as she was told about the numbers.
While the strong jobs market and the record low levels of unemployment persist, analysts said that it does not necessarily bode well for the Fed’s efforts to bring down sky-high levels of inflation.
The major indexes on Wall Street fell in response to the latest jobs report as investors gird for more aggressive interest rate hikes by the central bank.
“The tinder-box hot job market indicates that Federal Reserve’s resolve to fight inflation is not bearing fruit yet,” Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University, told The Post.
Sohn cited labor shortages in key sectors of the economy including airlines, leisure and hospitality, and restaurants.
“The lethargic labor participation rate shows that workers are not yet worried about a recession and willing to wait for better opportunities,” Sohn said.
“The 5.2% wage gain from a year ago is not enough to entice them to get back to work.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 0.05% as of 10:23 a.m. on Friday while the S&P 500 fell 0.08%. The Nasdaq shed 0.04%.
“This is a job market that just won’t quit,” Becky Frankiewicz, the president and chief commercial officer for ManpowerGroup, told The Post.
“The economic indicators are signaling caution, yet American employers are signaling confidence.”
Jeffrey Roach, the chief economist for LPL Financial based in Charlotte, told The Post: “The decline in unemployment and the participation rate will frustrate central bankers since a tighter labor market adds inflation risk to the economy.”