'Signs of strength and cause for concern': Economic uncertainty ensues due to ongoing unpredictability

'Signs of strength and cause for concern': Economic uncertainty ensues due to ongoing unpredictability
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell presents the Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on July 17, 2018, Federal Reserve

Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a sense of unpredictability where the economy is concerned. However, the November 2021 jobs report only adds more fuel to the fire. According to CNN, this month's report "simultaneously shows signs of strength and cause for concern."

How does that work? In short, three conflicting issues appear to be evident: the economy is finally rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, staggering as a result of the damning effect of inflation, and a disheartening inflection point for employment. With each issue, the element of surprise and unpredictability remains evident from month to month.

On Friday, it was reported that the United States economy added 210,000 in November bringing the country's unemployment rate down to 4.2%. Normally this would signal that the economy is one step closer to full employment but that isn't the case here. In fact, many of the opinions on the latest job report have been negative, CNN reports.

CNN's Anneken Tappe also weighed in on the report writing, "Economists had expected more than double the number of jobs created in November, forecasting a continuation of the buoyant economic recovery over the past two months. Instead, the November jobs gain was more reminiscent of the pre-pandemic economy, when employers added a smaller but steady number of positions, at least on the face of it."

Jason Furman, who worked for the Council of Economic Advisors under the Obama administration, also weighed in via Twitter.

"Weird jobs numbers," he tweeted. "Very strong household survey: unemployment down to 4.2% & labor force participation up as employment up 1.1 million," he tweeted. "But the normally more reliable payroll survey shows only 210K jobs added."He's not sure what's going on: "Some explanations may emerge but it may just be measurement error."

The latest jobs report follows remarks from Federal Reserve, like Chairman Jerome Powell. Although he has insisted inflation could be relatively temporary, it looks like the economic issue could last a bit longer than expected.

"At this point the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are high and it is therefore appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases ... perhaps a few months sooner," Powell said.

It appears the disappointing reactions are a result of expectation, alone but the reports still signal the country has quite a way to go before it makes a full economic recovery.


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