If someone had told CNBC’s Jim Cramer that he would someday see nonfarm payrolls increase by 228,000 without an immediate rise in interest rates, he would’ve called them insane.
But that’s exactly what Friday’s jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed, with jobs in education and health services, professional services and manufacturing making up most of the gains.
Specifically, some 54,000 jobs were added in education and health services; 46,000 in professional and business services; and 31,000 in the manufacturing sector.
“The manufacturing jobs are in diverse industries like fabricating metal products, plastic and rubber, electronic products, just the kind of higher-skilled blue collar jobs we want to see,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Normally, though, this kind of number would be accompanied by inflation, and inflation sends interest rates soaring.”
However, rates didn’t surge higher. Cramer said this was because jobs grew rapidly, but wages didn’t — average hourly pay only ticked up by 5 cents, to $26.55, and yearly wages increased by 64 cents.
That 2.5 percent annual wage increase explained exactly why interest rates held their ground, the “Mad Money” host said.
“We literally have not just growth, but growth without any real inflation, and guys, that’s the holy grail of economics. I can’t stress enough how rare this is,” Cramer said. “Growth without inflation is one of those things that’s supposedly possible in theory, but you almost never see it in real life, at least not in a fully industrialized country like the United States.”
Cramer said Friday’s inaction in the bond markets could have been made possible by technology, specifically companies using it to automate operations rather than hiring expensive human workers.
The other possible drivers? The White House’s deregulation and tax overhaul efforts, two pro-business initiatives that could spur growth, at least according to top advisor Gary Cohn.
Cramer couldn’t disagree with any of these analyses, adding that part of the growth could’ve been due to Texas and Florida rebounding after the summer’s hurricanes.
But he knew that it wouldn’t necessarily last. Autonomous driving — which could hit roads much sooner than expected — and cashier-less checkouts in stores may lead to lower employment, Cramer said.
“At least for the moment, though, this is indeed a fabulous economy and it buttresses the notion that the stock market’s run isn’t all that crazy,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Remember, in normal times, strength sowed the seeds of its own destruction by leading to inflation and then multiple Fed rate hikes just growing up like weeds. But at least for the moment, that’s not the case. My take? Enjoy it. Moments like this one don’t come around very often.”