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June 2017 Jobs Report: Better

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WAGES STILL WEAK, THOUGH …

The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs during the month of June, according to data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  That print easily beat Wall Street estimates of 179,000 new jobs for the recently concluded month.

Even better, numbers for May and April were upwardly revised by a total of 47,000 new positions.

Here is the official release …

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(Via: BLS)

Make no mistake: These numbers are still well shy of what’s required for a sustained “jobs recovery,” but we’ll take middling news over bad news any day of the week.

In addition to the new jobs, there was also decent data to report on the labor participation front.  This key employment indicator rose by 0.1 percent to 62.8 percent as the number of working age Americans currently in the labor force expanded from 152.9 million to 153.1 million.  Meanwhile, the number of working age Americans not in the labor force declined by 170,000 to 94.8 million.

The bad news?  Wages …

Average hourly earnings increased by just 0.15 percent – shy of a 0.3 percent expectation.  Meanwhile last month’s earnings estimate was also downgraded to 0.1 percent.  Year-over-year, wages are up by 2.5 percent – missing expectations of a 2.6 percent print.

At this point in our jobs coverage, we typically wax ideological as to what we believe is prompting the lackluster employment growth – which of course is part of a broader, pervasive economic malaise.  This involves recalling a litany of failed federal policies … and arguing on behalf of their repeal (and a return to market-based principles).

We’ll spare our readers the sermon this time, though …

The numbers are what they are: Middling.

We will say this, though: Politicians (including “Republicans”) who refuse to pass key economic agenda items proposed by U.S. president Donald Trump probably should refrain from criticizing his administration on its economic record.

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