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July 2017 Jobs Report: Mixed Signals




The American economy added 209,000 new jobs during the month of July, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  That was a better-than-expected print – and was quickly capitalized upon by U.S. president Donald Trump.

“I have only just begun,” Trump tweeted in response to the numbers.  “Many job stifling regulations continue to fall.”

Trump should be careful not to get too excited about what he termed “excellent” job numbers, though.

How come?

According to the household survey portion of the report (.pdf), July’s increase in jobs was due exclusively to the addition of part-time positions.  According to the household data, 393,000 part-time positions were added last month.   Meanwhile, full-time jobs declined by 54,000 positions.

That underscores the extent to which the quantity of jobs has outpaced their quality in America’s ongoing “economic recovery.”

Still, the fact jobs are being added at all is good news given the abject failure of the “Republican” congress to advance any of the central planks of Trump’s 2016 campaign agenda.

In addition to the positive jobs numbers, there was also decent data to report on the labor participation front.  This key employment indicator rose by 0.1 percent to 62.9 percent.

Unfortunately here in South Carolina, that number has been moving in the opposite direction.

In keeping with the broader “mixed signals” theme, previous employment data from May was revised downward by 7,000 jobs (152,000 to 145,000 new positions), while data from June was revised upward by 9,000 jobs (222,000 to 231,000 new positions).

Our view?

These numbers are decidedly ho-hum … and we believe they will stay that way until Congress decides to finally repeal Obamacare, cut taxes for the middle class and slow the outrageous growth of federal spending.



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