Weak jobs report belies U.S. recovery under way — but are international stock markets a better bet now?

 Weak jobs report belies U.S. recovery under way — but are international stock markets a better bet now?

Let’s face it, April’s U.S. jobs report was a head scratcher by most accounts. The 266,000 extra payrolls represent the biggest missed forecast for economists’ predictions for nonfarm payrolls since the 1990s, with many forecasting that 1 million people were added to payrolls last month.

The labor market data doesn’t necessarily derail upbeat expectations for the employment outlook though. Jefferies Aneta Markowska and Thomas Simons, who had forecast that the April jobs figures would top 2 million, said they remain bullish on employment but described Friday’s miss as simply “ hard to explain,” in a report after the Labor Department data.

However, nonfarm payrolls data do provide a good opportunity for investors to think about how the global economic recovery might take shape, as the world attempts the hardscrabble rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

A possibly unsteady recovery for…

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