The Dow Jones Industrial Average is soaring based on what some analysts are calling “great” job numbers. But are they?
Based on what’s in the latest job numbers, maybe not.
No doubt you’ve heard these two key stats:
- Unemployment is down (8.3%), the lowest since early 2009
- 243,000 jobs were created in January, the best figure since last April.
Here’s why that first stat is a little misleading: A whopping 1.2 million people took a break from looking at a job, based on Bureau of Labor statistics.
Just 63.7 of the labor force is actively seeking work – that’s the lowest since January of 1984 just as the economy was recovering from a brutal recession.
What’s it all mean? Investors are looking for positive signs of recovery. An uptick in jobs created and the great month and a half for stocks are all good news.
But it may be a bit too early for market exuberance. Despite what the headlines say, the labor force is shrinking, not growing.