April was a great month for jobs with another upside surprise.
CNN reported on May 2, that it was expected to be “a healthy but unspectacular” 185,000 jobs. Unemployment was expected to remain at 3.8 percent. MarketWatch was expecting a “robust increase” of around 213,000 jobs.
The U.S. economy grew so much more than expected in the first quarter that CNBC’s Rick Santelli called it a “whopper” and “really powerful” news on April 26. A day later, the news made the front page of The Washington Post and The New York Times.
The broadcast networks were less enthusiastic. Two out of the three evening news programs skipped the story entirely that night.
Economic growth bested expectations by nearly a percentage point in the first quarter, and “pushes back” against recent recession fears, according to CNBC.
“First look at first quarter GDP and it is a whopper! 3.2 percent.” on-air editor Rick Santelli announced on April 26. “A 3 handle on first quarter. It’s supposed to be the dog of the year in terms of which quarters excel. This is really powerful.”
The December jobs report crushed expectations on Jan. 4, with 312,000 jobs added, a strong participation rate, wage gains and two months of upward revisions. That was 136,000 jobs more than expected.
Authoritarian governments are known for having a boot on the neck of freedom. CNBC’s on air editor Rick Santelli said the Obama administration had a "boot on business." Santelli was rumbling with former Obama official and Brookings Institution economist Aaron Klein over taxes, spending and whether the Obama administration enacted “pro-growth” economic reforms.
Last month, 213,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy — more than expected by analysts. Jobs figures from the previous two months were also revised up by a total of 37,000 jobs. This good news about job gains and increased participation in the labor market drew praise from CNBC’s panelists on July 6, even from former Obama administration economist Jared Bernstein.
In his coverage of Friday morning's stellar jobs report, the Associated Press's Chris Rugaber came up with a couple of doozies aimed at curbing readers' enthusiasm. The AP economics writer half-expected that employers would rein in their hiring over confrontational rhetoric President Donald Trump and other foreign leaders have recently engaged in over trade and tariffs. He also implausibly framed the record-low black unemployment rate of 5.9 percent merely as evidence that employers are just now finally "taking chances" with potential workers "they had previously ignored."
On-air editor Rick Santelli announced the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for CNBC’s Squawk Box on April 27. “Holy cow! Better than expected up 2.3 percent. You know many were thinking, and there’s a lot of reasons to believe so, that it would be a bit under the 2 percent. So 2.3 of course, as follows 2.9 last quarter,” Santelli said.
CNBC’s on-air editor Rick Santelli reacted to the April consumer confidence numbers positively, but the same night ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs all ignored the latest update of consumer attitudes toward the economy, as did their Spanish-language counterparts, Univision and Telemundo. “Some breaking news: Consumer confidence, we are looking for a read on April and the number is 128.7, sequentially following 127 [in March]. This is a really good number. 128 and change is the best level since February's 130. 130 was best level going back to the year 2000. Very lofty levels indeed,” Santelli said during Squawk on the Street on April 24.
Rather than rejoice over the stock market rally, many people are pushing economic pessimism and that upset CNBC’s Rick Santelli. The CNBC editor and contributor complained about the pessimism on Squawk Box Feb. 16. “Much of the world always finds something to cheer about, always finds hope in every stock market. This particular rally, because of the president, everybody wants to put cold water on it and maybe some day they’ll all get their wish,” Santelli said.
Sparks flew on the set of NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning as CNBC’s Rick Santelli accused moderator Chuck Todd of picking sides during the election. The confrontation occurred during a conversation about Russian meddling in the election and claims that intercepted communications showing their glee for Donald Trump’s victory. “To see Russians happy because Trump won: On election night, I never saw you so unhappy. You pick sides. Everybody picks sides,” exclaimed Santelli, literally pointing fingers at Todd.
On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen suggested in a videoconference call, as translated into plain English by the Wall Street Journal, that "there could be benefits to allowing the central bank to buy stocks as a way to boost the economy in a downturn."