Cramer: Blowout jobs gains in June reflect an 'optimism in the country' that's seldomly reported


CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday that the massive employment gains in June indicate confidence in the U.S. economy despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s an optimism in the country that I think often is not shared with people who are on air, and that’s only because we don’t see the hiring. But people are hiring,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box.” “Frankly, I found it astonishing versus what we hear.”

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June as the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1%, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had anticipated a jobs gain just under 3 million and a 12.4% jobless rate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 350 points early Thursday on the jobs gains. As of Wednesday’s close, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all already on track for a positive week. The Nasdaq closed at another record high Wednesday.

Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” said he believes the strength of hiring in June — following the surprising employment gains in May — were rooted in the belief that the reopening of state economies from coronavirus-driven closures would go well. 

“Obviously there have been problems with the opening,” Cramer acknowledged, as some states pause or rollback their reopening plans as Covid-19 cases spike in the South and the West.

However, he said he does not want to put a “negative gloss” on the June jobs numbers

“We’re not where we thought … we’d be, say, eight weeks ago. We had a strong economy before. We’re seeing the strength again,” Cramer added on “Squawk on the Street.” 

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New daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit another record, topping 50,000 on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Many states continued to see unprecedented spikes Wednesday, including Arizona, Texas and California.

Cramer said he was encouraged by the sizable job gains in leisure and hospitality, with the sector making up about 40% of the total employment growth.

However, he said he foresees continued difficulty for restaurants, calling it one of the biggest risk factors to continuing the incredible rally in stocks from their March virus-driven lows.

“The only thing that can really stop [this market] is if the employment in restaurant and travel and leisure and sports can’t come back because we can’t get control of the pandemic,” he said.



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