Looking at the commentary from bank economists on this morning’s “stronger-than-expected” employment report, you would think the country is on a clear path to recovery. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, was downright euphoric:
This is critical, this is the most important data that we have seen this cycle. This is going to get people’s attention. This confirms that most of the negativity we have seen in the market is derived from the market itself and not the data.
Never mind that nearly half of the 103,000 new jobs “created” in September were accounted for by the return of thousands of striking Verizon workers to their jobs. Brian Dolan, chief strategist at Forex.com, didn’t let that caveat tamp his enthusiasm:
It’s a breath of fresh air and should allow the risk recovery we’ve had this week to continue.
Now to put the gain, which left the jobless rate stuck above 9 percent for fifth straight month, in some perspective. Since the official start of the recovery more than two years ago, the economy has made up less than a quarter of the more than 8 million jobs lost during the recession. That leaves a jobs deficit of some 6 million jobs, and ignores the millions more Americans who have entered the labor force given normal population growth.