NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. economy added far more jobs than economists hoped in April. But investors on StockTwits.com said Friday that the beat isn't bullish for stocks. In fact, the jobs report hardly matters anymore.
the market doesn't care about your over hyped jobs report or your miserable little life. We see- Neo (@Loyola80) May. 2 at 11:08 AM
Stocks didn't hold gains after the bullish report. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow each hovered near flat or edged lower by midday.
Blow out jobs number and the market sells off.... Tells you everything you need to know about "news." It doesn't matter.- Robert Lesnicki (@TraderRL23) May. 2 at 10:55 AM
The reason for the lack of reaction, some investors argue, is that the jobs report is an unreliable indicator of economic strength. Take today's report, for example. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April. That helped drive down the unemployment rate to 6.3%, the lowest level since September 2008.
On the surface, those results seem bullish for the underlying economy. But drilling into the numbers reveals reasons for concern. Some of the unemployment decline was due to people dropping out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 62.8 in April. About 806,000 people dropped out of the civilian labor force altogether last month.
Also 7.5 million people are still working part-time, rather than full time, because of economic reasons. If the labor market was really strong, then some argue forced part-time work would decline because businesses would extend hours rather than hiring another person. Of course, if the mix of jobs is on the lower income side then perhaps it is easier for companies to hire more workers part-time and not pay benefits. And adding a bunch of lower-paying jobs isn't exactly a bullish signal for the economy or company earnings.
After the jobs report, investors on StockTwits.com were linking to an article on Chart Porn showing the decline in spending power of the middle class.
To make the job number even more complicated, the government continually revises numbers up or down by tens of thousands as new data comes in, making the report unreliable.
Instead of focusing on jobs, investors are watching GDP growth and inflation for signs that the economy is again strengthening after stalling this winter. And they don't like what they see. GDP growth, after all, was just 0.1% in the first quarter.
$TLT calls finally working. We'll see how far this trend goes. Falling interest rates reflect bogus job numbers and weakening economy!- Brett Fromme (@BDF_NYC) May. 2 at 11:12 AM
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.