What we’re covering here

  • The January jobs report showed that the US economy added a stunning 353,000 jobs last month, confounding market expectations Friday morning and pushing up Treasury yields.
  • The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%.
  • new CNN poll shows the public’s long-held pessimism about the economy is easing — but a majority of Americans still think the US economy is in trouble.
  • While the latest jobs numbers underscore the strength of the US economy, it remains to be seen if the data could push back the timeline for interest rate cuts, which markets were hoping would start in March.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell poured cold water on that notion Wednesday, saying there would be no rate cut that month. Friday’s whopper of a jobs number certainly confirms that.

What this super strong jobs report means for the 2024 presidential race

Former President Donald Trump said the economy would tumble. He said the stock market is booming because of the prospect of his victory. And he’s promoting conspiracy theories about the Fed considering rate cuts to favor President Joe Biden.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has attacked Biden’s record on inflation and the cost of living.

But the economy, fresh off a shockingly strong year in 2023, is expected to grow at an even stronger 4.2% rate in the first quarter. And today’s jobs report shows America’s economy remains surprisingly strong.

A new CNN poll shows Biden still has a lot of convincing to do: Perception of the economy remains deep under water. But the mood is heading in a positive direction — which should come as a relief to Biden, because the economy is one of his weakest issues, according to favorability polls. However, if hiring remains strong and inflation keeps falling, it may become easier for Biden to convince voters he’s doing a good job strengthening the economy.

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