The economy added 113,000 jobs in the month of January. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6%, in line with expectations from economists. Stocks were volatile as traders tried to process the news. Today’s report was an improvement from the disappointing 74,000 jobs created in December, but well below the 189,000 jobs economists were expecting for the month of January.
Today, Hot Stock Minute went beyond the headline numbers to see where the jobs actually are being created in this economy and across the country, including some surprise sectors like construction. Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task and Senior Columnist Michael Santoli offered insights into the report and the trends in the labor market that could give millions of unemployed Americans an idea of where the bright spots are by industry and region, as well as some surprising areas of rising unemployment that contradict public perception. One example is in so-called STEM jobs in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that have been touted as the future for job growth in this country. Unemployment among electrical engineers, while still lower than the national unemployment rate, actually rose last year from 3.4% to 4.8%.
Among the bright spots for stocks in the early going, Apple (AAPL) was sharply higher in early trading on news that the company has bought $14 billion dollars of its own shares since it reported disappointing earnings last Monday. The share buyback is part of Apple's plan to repurchase $60 billion of its shares. This news came out just a few weeks before Apple's shareholder meeting at the end of the month where Carl Icahn is pushing for the company to buy an additional $50 billion of its own shares by the end of September.
And mixed results for News Corp (NWS). The media giant reported adjusted earnings that beat estimates by $0.10 while revenue fell 4%, in line with estimates. The company was hurt by a 9% revenue decline in its news and information services, a weakening Australian dollar, slower advertising revenue and the sale of the Dow Jones Local Media Group.