Home > posts > Latest Jobs Report: 600,000 Americans Come Off the Sidelines and Get In the Game
July 6th, 2018 1:17 pm
Latest Jobs Report: 600,000 Americans Come Off the Sidelines and Get In the Game
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Today brought yet another impressive U.S. employment report from the Labor Department, with an unexpectedly high 213,000 new jobs added in the month of June (versus the expected 195,000).

But the report includes a particularly impressive number after nearly a decade of people just giving up on working during the Obama era malaise.  Over 600,000 Americans decided that the market is so hot that they got off the sidelines and entered the game:

The increase in the unemployment rate came due to a rise in the labor force participation rate, which increased 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent as 601,000 people came off the sidelines and re-entered the labor force.”

Continuing the sports analogy, The Wall Street Journal notes that what we’re witnessing is a different kind of ballgame under the Trump Administration than the unprecedented economic sluggishness that characterized the Obama “expansion”:

Steady hiring and low unemployment shows the labor market continues to be an area of strength for the economy since the recession ended nine years ago.  What might be different now is that other aspects appear to be picking up steam.  Some economists project economic output rose at better than 4% annually in the second quarter for the first time since 2014.

Rising consumer spending, manufacturing output and exports are expected to have contributed to the gain, set to be officially reported later this month.  If sustained, that would be a turn from much of the expansion in which hiring has been consistent, but growth has been sluggish, holding near a 2% annual rate.  One explanation is wages.  Even though Americans were finding jobs, scant raises left them with little room in their budgets to step up spending.”

It’s amazing what an economic agenda of tax cuts and deregulation can do for an economic cycle that was supposedly on weary legs and amid an era of “secular stagnation” when solid growth was a thing of the past.

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