About an hour before the Labor Department released its closely watched jobs number Friday, President Donald Trump was already talking up the results.
“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” he tweeted at 7:21 a.m. ET.
The May jobs report was in fact a good one for a president who likes to brag about the strong jobs market. Unemployment fell to 3.8%, which matched the lowest rate in nearly a half century. Employers added 223,000 jobs in the month, more than more economists were forecasting.
But investors weren’t waiting for the official report. Stock futures, bond yields and the value of the dollar all jumped higher immediately after his tweet.
And that might be why the tweet was a problem.
The Labor Department works hard to keep the market-moving numbers a secret ahead of their 8:30 a.m. ET release. Reporters who get access to the data ahead of time are in a “lock-up,” without the ability to communicate with the outside world.