Payrolls Show 171k Gains as Jobs-Turtle Waxes Shell

November 2, 2012 9:32 AM EDT
Markets are expected to pop higher on Friday as investors react to blistering October jobs gains that totaled 171,000. Ok, blister is probably too strong a word, but the jobs report was positive overall, topping expectations by 46 thousand. September and August figures were both adjusted upwards from 142 thousand to 192 thousand in August and from 114 thousand to 148 thousand in September. In the view of many on the Street, "something is happening" in the U.S. economy. Could it be... growth?

So far this year, jobs growth has averaged 157,000 per month, slightly higher than last year's 153,000 jobs. These are unimpressive gains, but the resilience in jobs, coupled with other positive economic indicators, including consumer confidence and manufacturing data, tells the tale of slow growth, tortoise-like recovery in the U.S.

The recovery in the U.S. has been criticized for being too slow. None the less, it is inching along, and while the pace is not blisteringly hot, it is clear the light has not gone out. A few optimistic investors are even slapping their knees and shouting "acceleration". The jobs numbers has a message for those folks as well... not so fast.

The solid October jobs numbers also likely has some in the Mitt Romney camp a little nervous going into Tuesday's Presidential election.

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