Economists and financial analysts had varying reactions to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December jobs report. The report showed non-farm payrolls growing by 216,000, exceeding expectations, wage growth outpacing predictions, and unemployment remaining at 3.7%. Experts are now analyzing what this means for the economy and the markets. Michael Gapen, the chief U.S. economist at Bank of America, sees a gradual cooling in the labor market, suggesting a soft landing rather than a recession. Jeffrey Roach, the chief economist at LPL Financial, raised concerns about the spike in part-time employment and the downward revisions in payroll gains, indicating slower economic growth. However, he doesn’t believe this will affect the Federal Reserve’s policy plans. Chris Todd, the CEO of UKG, offered a more optimistic view, highlighting the advantage for employees in the current labor market and emphasizing the strength and consistency shown in real-time workforce activity data. Chris Zaccarelli, the chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, was surprised by the market’s resilience and cautioned about the potential inflationary pressures caused by high average hourly earnings. He also believed that the strong economy would boost revenues and profits for companies, leading to higher stock prices. Jeremy Straub, the CEO and chief investment officer at Coastal Wealth, suggested that the strong jobs report could delay the Federal Reserve’s rate cuts. The stock market is expected to remain range-bound in the short term due to profit-taking after recent rallies. In response to the report, U.S. Treasury yields increased, with the 10-year benchmark reaching a 4.05% yield and the longer-dated 30-year yields surging to 4.20%. Bond-related ETFs, such as the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) and the US Treasury 10 Year Note ETF (UTEN), experienced losses.