Jim Cramer: Jobs number 'better be perfect' or there will be more pressure on the market

  • Jim Cramer says Friday's jobs report must "justify" Fed Chair Jerome Powell's "upbeat attitude."
  • Markets will continue to fall if the report is not "perfect," he says.
  • The jobs report must be good because of a scheduled interest rate hike and talks of a yield curve inversion, he says.

The jobs report coming out later this week "better be perfect" and justify Fed Chair Jerome Powell's "upbeat attitude" or Wall Street will stay under the hammer, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

The central bank is keeping a close eye on employment numbers, and specifically wage growth, as it slowly raises interest rates.

"The people who are saying that this economy is really strong, they better give us a strong number on Friday or you're going to see just continual pressure on this market," Cramer said on "Fast Money."

If there is not a big number, investors will think the inverted yield curve is being pushed, "which would be terrible," he added.

A so-called yield curve inversion is when the short-term Treasury rates exceed the long-term rates. That is often the signal of an economic slowdown. Concerns about such a thing happening sent stocks lower on Tuesday.

The "Mad Money" host has been critical of Powell and the Fed, saying they are not recognizing the economy is slowing down. He said the central bank can't move rates to a preconceived notion of neutral.

The Fed is expected to raise rates later this month, but its future path was called into question when Powell said on Nov. 28 that rates are "just below" the neutral range. At its last meeting in September, members projected three hikes for 2019.

The stock market was closed on Wednesday for the federal holiday, President Donald Trump declared for former President George H.W. Bush's state funeral. It was set to reopen on Thursday.

Cramer said the inclination heading into the jobs report will be to sell.

"The market could be up at the end of the day [Friday], because people will be short covering ahead of what they think is going to be a perfect number," Cramer said. "It better be perfect."

"It better justify Powell's incredible upbeat attitude that just got tempered last week," Cramer said.