Market Musings: Unemployment Numbers are a Joke

Everyone gets so excited about the unemployment number. I use to be in strategy meetings all the time were we’d discuss the employment numbers and where they were going to go, what was it going to be, is it ADP or Labor Department, and guess what. They are all different. They’ll all be revised up or down, which has always made me feel like the employment number on a particular day is a joke.

I don’t feel like it means anything. It’s a snapshot that doesn’t really matter but, depending on the state of the market, everyone will be talking about what the employment number is going to be, and what kind of bets big investors or institutional investors should take.

Everyday people who have no business worrying about the unemployment number will start talking about nonfarm payrolls or the Participation Rate.

If you’re a professional and your bonus is based on monthly, weekly, or daily performance then you should pay attention because the market will move in the short run.  In the long run one days number doesn’t matter.

What matters is the long run trend of the unemployment rate. Is unemployment trending down or up, and for how long? I only think the trend really matters because the Fed cares about and has stalked their decision to raise interest rates on it.

Otherwise, I could really care less about the unemployment rate and the everyday person should also forget about it because it doesn’t matter to them.

Your not a day trader. Don’t chase the money.