Friday's Jobs Numbers Fell Short, But Won't Change Public Perception

The U.S. government announced on Friday
non-farm payrolls
for the month of October rose 161,000, falling short of the 178,000 figure experts were expecting. However, the numbers were higher than the prior reading of 156,000, which was revised this month higher to 191,000.

Benzinga had an opportunity to chat with TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. AMTD's chief market strategist Joe (JJ) Kinahan to see what he thinks about the jobs report and what it could mean for the markets.

The Good And Bad

Kinahan was quick to point out that the jobs report won't change anyone's perception of the economy or the market. He suggested that while the reading was short of what experts were looking for, it could be because many experts were more lenient in their estimates to account for the U.S. presidential election.

One of the positive factors in the report was wage growth, which increased and continued to do so at a "really nice pace." On the other hand, a major negative aspect of the report was the small decline in jobs created within the retail sector, and this is "surprising" heading into the holiday season.

Kinahan suggested traditional brick-and-mortar retailers don't want to over-hire workers, so the jobs losses at retail could be more about "retailer confidence" than consumer confidence.

Kinahan also pointed out that most of the U.S. has benefited from decent weather conditions so many early-bird shoppers may be taking advantage of the weather outside and are postponing their holiday shopping plans a few weeks, which also factored into retailers holding off on adding new jobs.

U.S. Election

The upcoming U.S. presidential election may or may not have an impact on November's reading. He noted that the election takes place very early in the month so other factors should be used to predict November's job growth — such as retail sales.

"If retail sales start off really strong they are going to have to hire very quickly," he expanded.

Kinahan continued that heading into the end of 2016 many workers are also reluctant to change jobs ahead of holiday bonuses, which typically come in December.

As such, it is "tough" to get a good feel for how the jobs data will come in through the end of 2016. However, all things being equal, the economy should continue creating new jobs.

Do Investors Even Care?

The futures market was little changed following the jobs report which begs the question: Do investors really care what the jobs data has to say in the first place? Kinahan suggested that the only thing going on right now that investors care about is the U.S. election.

"It's all elections, all the time until Tuesday," he explained. "Barring some huge news, nothing else matters."

Posted In: Consumer ConfidenceJJ KinahanJobs GrowthNon-Farm Payrollpresidential electionTD AmeritradeAnalyst ColorNewsEcon #sInterview

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