Investors looking for clues on how the slightly weaker-than-expected June jobs report figures into the Federal Reserve‘s thinking on interest rates should relax, market watcher Richard Bernstein said Thursday, moments after the employment numbers were released.
“It’s kind of a Goldilocks number—not too hot, not too cold,” the CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview. “I think if you were worrying that the Fed was going to rush to raise rates … they’re probably not in any rush to raise rates.”
The CME FedWatch tool—which tracks market reaction on potential changes to the fed funds target rate—showed a 49 percent likelihood of a rate hike in December and a 66 percent chance in January 2016. The odds of a September increase dropped to just 10 percent.
On Thursday, a day early because of the long Independence Day weekend, the government said nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 in June. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 5.3 percent.
“The jobs number is the best glimpse in a moment of time of how the economy is doing. This jobs number is a little disappointing, but it’s still pretty solid and not inconsistent with 3 percent growth,” said AEI’s Kevin Hassett, former Fed economist and ex-GOP campaign advisor.
“The job market has been growing at a rate that sort of corresponds with maybe 3.5 percent or 4 percent,” said Austan Goolsbee, former Obama Council of Economic Advisers chairman. “[But] GDP is growing at a rate, let’s call it, 2.5 percent.”
The professor at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business told CNBC, “The real puzzle is do you think growth is going to go up to where the jobs are or do you think job growth is going to come down to where the GDP is.”