The June jobs report arrived, and despite a big headline “beat,” stocks refused to budge. Equities opened lower on the day out of fear that the Fed had even more evidence that it needed to raise rates.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that the US economy added a whopping 372,000 jobs in June vs. just 268,000 expected. Unemployment was unchanged at 3.6% (matching estimates) while wages jumped 0.3% month-over-month to climb 5.1% year-over-year.

It seemed like a bearish report at first glance due to how the Fed would see it. Analysts who read it that way came to the correct conclusion. Their reasoning as to why it was bearish, however, was completely incorrect.

It was, without a doubt, a bearish jobs report, but only because the headline “beat” was total bunk.

Analysts who dug a little deeper into the June jobs data (like we did) found that the disconnect between the establishment survey (from which the payrolls gain is tallied) and the household survey (from which the unemployment rate is derived) got worse.

Since March of this year, the establishment survey shows that the economy gained roughly 1.124 million jobs. The household survey shows a 347,000 job loss since March by comparison.

The reason for this is how the two surveys collect and report their findings.

For traders out of the loop, the household survey numbers track American workers. The establishment survey looks purely at payrolls and wages.

The household survey also divides US employees into three categories:

Full-time workers, part-time workers, and multiple jobholders.

Full-time employees declined by 70,000 since March while part-time workers fell by 326,000. Multiple jobholders, on the other hand, have surged to a post-Covid high of 7.541 million. Multiple jobholders swelled by 239,000 in June alone opposite full-time and part-time workers, who fell by 152,000 and 326,000 last month, respectively.

But it gets even more confounding.

Multiple jobholders whose primary and secondary jobs are both full-time just hit a record high as well.

In short, there are far fewer people working than the last handful of jobs reports would suggest. There has, however, been a sharp increase in the number of people working multiple jobs. This is reflected in the recent jobs beats, which count the number of total payrolls, not workers.

It also explains why jobs continue to rise despite a flat labor participation rate since January.

For stocks, that means we’re probably back in “bad news is bad news” territory. There’s a labor shortage, workers are dropping, and the US is probably already in a recession.

Oh, and the Fed still has to raise rates aggressively in the coming months while reducing its balance sheet.

Once investors realize this, the general market could be in for a rough ride lower. Bulls were hoping for a jobs report that came close but barely missed on payrolls. Instead, they got an albatross of a job gain that did nothing but mask the labor market’s downtrend in workers.

That’s bad news for T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS), which just set a double top over the last few weeks. TMUS closed below its minor bullish trend (yellow trendline) and the 10-day moving average this afternoon.

The stochastic indicator is showing bearish divergence as well relative to TMUS’s price action, as evidenced by a lower high on the stochastic indicator opposite a slightly higher high on the chart.

For those reasons, it might make sense to take TMUS short with a trade trigger of $133.31, below today’s low, as the general market attempts to digest the recent jobs data.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here