‘This Is Not A Good Sign’: CNBC Reporter Rick Santelli Throws Cold Water On Jobs Report

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNBC’s Rick Santelli threw cold water on the latest jobs report on Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data showing the U.S. added 216,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in December while unemployment stayed at 3.7%. The good news was overshadowed by the fact that the number of jobs added for the two previous months was revised down by 71,000, according to the BLS. October job gains went from 150,000 to 105,000 and November’s job gains went from 199,000 to 173,000.

Santelli, however, said there were other indicators that things are not looking good.

“Non-farm payrolls a bit stronger than expected at 216,000, 216,000. That would be the best since September when it was 262,000. I don’t see all the revisions yet specifically, but the two-month revision in a combined form is minus — minus 71,000. Traders find these revisions very disheartening. Now, if you look at unemployment rate — it remained at 3.7. We’ve got no uptick in the unemployment rate. If we look at average hourly earnings, up 0.4%. We’re expecting it to be a little lighter in the rearview mirror, it was up 0.4%. If you look at October it was only up 0.2%.”

“Now, if you look at average hourly workweek, 34.3,  34.3, 34.4 have been the numbers. Haven’t had a lot of movement. Labor force participation reverses. This isn’t a good sign!” Santelli said. “62.8 is what we had. That was the best level going all the way back to February of 2020, when it was over 63. Now we back it up to 62.5. That is the lightest going all the way back to January of last year.” (RELATED: Americans’ Finances Took A Beating In 2023 Amidst Persistent Inflation And High Interest Rates)

Job growth in December was primarily concentrated in government employment, health care and leisure and hospitality.

Inflation remains elevated above the Fed’s 2% target, rising 3.1% year-over-year after reaching a peak in June of 2022 at 9.1%.

Other data suggests Americans are souring on the economy, with CNN reporting that Americans’ disposable income has seen negative growth under President Joe Biden. CNN’s Harry Enten explained that the average for presidents since John F. Kennedy is +4.5% but “we have actually decreased the amount of disposable income we’ve had, 2.7% for the Biden administration.”

Watch this classic moment from Santelli that went viral during the Obama administration: