NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Even the monthly jobs report can't muzzle fiscal-cliff chatter. Hours after the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed on Friday that nonfarm payrolls added 146,000 jobs in November, the markets were mixed, thanks in part to House Speaker John Boehner's ability to yank investors back to post-election politics. "There's about a 15-minute attention span to
Press release statements about the monthly jobs report had become typical during election season, but political leaders used the event to tie it to the fiscal cliff House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) blamed Democrats' budget plan for "slow-walking" the economy to the edge of the cliff. "The Democrats' slow-walk strategy is unfair to taxpayers, unfair to small businesses, and unfair to all those looking for work," Boehner said in a statement. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said that the November report proved that the private sector was continuing to grow and that it meant legislators would have to restore certainty to middle-class Americans. "There is no reason for Republicans to hold the middle class and our economy hostage to more tax cuts for the wealthy and to drive our country over the fiscal cliff," Pelosi said in a statement. The White House also jumped on the fiscal cliff message as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger said in a statement that extending tax cuts to middle class families was the most pressing issue facing the country. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," Krueger said. Consumer Sentiment printed much lower than expected (74.5 from last month's 82.7), but it may not have affected the markets as much as anticipated. "We don't try to put too much faith on consumer sentiment, we like to look more at what consumers do, rather than what they say," said Sorensen. "Reading some of the retail sales numbers, looking at the consumer confidence board's confidence reading, ... I don't want to put too much on the University of Michigan's reading, ... but it doesn't appear to be that the sentiment has gotten to the point where they're stopping spending or that they're really paring back on holiday spending." Many economists had expected the effects of Hurricane Sandy to slam the November jobs report -- a survey of economists by Thomson Reuters had forecast the unemployment rate to remain at 7.9% and for payrolls to rise 93,000 -- but the BLS noted that affected states were within normal ranges.
Investors and politicians may want to keep an eye on next month's report. "I think you have two problems: One is that next month you could see the impact
of Hurricane Sandy that we thought we'd see this month, and the second thing is maybe the impact was really there and you'll see an adjustment," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading at Charles Schwab. For each monthly employment report, the BLS prints a revision of the previous month's report. Friday's report likely didn't garner the same interest it had generated during the presidential election, but worries of a fiscal cliff have guaranteed that a dwindling participation rate and a struggling employment environment won't soon be forgotten. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux