Unemployment is down and stocks say “meh”

Headlines like this are head scratchers.

You’d think this was great news, right? I suppose the logic is (a) there are more jobs than employable people, so (b) wages will go up, costing companies more to produce goods and services, then (c) higher costs mean lower profits, therefore the stock market says “no thanks”.

But intuitively, I think this is a good thing: “The unemployment rate fell to 3.4% from 3.5%, hitting a level not seen since before Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.” Low unemployment…yay, we’ve all got jobs.

Wall Street seems to like a 4% unemployment rate. The government’s measurement of that rate is famously messy, even unreliable. I wonder how they classify me? In my 60s, not employed full time but still making money doing work for companies on a 1099 basis. Still paying lots of taxes. Am I even in the calculation?