There's no doubt General Electric (GE) is going through the biggest makeover among the Dow Jones industrials.
And Friday's job numbers, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, signal it's taking a step in the right direction.
Following CEO Jeffrey Immelt's aggressive unwinding of GE's longtime lending arm GE Capital (Immelt booked more than $100 billion divestitures from the division last year), shareholders should look at GE as a far purer industrial play.
But the new GE will bear new risks as investor confidence essentially now equates to a bullish bet on the global economy, making reports like Friday's job numbers even more relevant.
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains that the U.S. unemployment rate remained level in December, at 5%, 292,000 jobs were added to the economy, displaying strong growth in construction and health care -- two major GE segments.
"Construction showed strong job growth for the third consecutive month, gaining 45,000 jobs in December," according to the report.
Jobs for trade contractors jumped 29,000, while those constructing new buildings found 10,000 new positions.
"Over the year, construction added 263,000 jobs, compared with a gain of 338,000 jobs in 2014. In December, health care employment rose by 39,000, with most of the increase occurring in ambulatory health care services (+23,000) and hospitals (+12,000). Job growth in health care averaged 40,000 per month in 2015, compared with 26,000 per month in 2014," according to the report.
Translation for Immelt: The country has a mounting appetite for GE's central business model.
GE shares were up more than 1% in premarket trading Friday. Industry peers Caterpillar (CAT), Honeywell (HON), and United Technologies (UTX) also posted premarket gains, with Caterpillar leading the pack, up nearly 2%.