US employers add 528,000 jobs in July – Press Telegram

By PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – US employers added a staggering 528,000 jobs last month despite showing warning signs of an economic downturn, easing fears of a recession and giving President Joe Biden good news heading into the midterm elections.

Unemployment fell another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold.

The economy has now recovered the 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 hit the US

Hot numbers reported Friday by the Labor Department are sure to intensify the debate over whether America is in a recession.

“Recession – what recession?’ wrote Brian Coulton, chief economist at Fitch Ratings, after the report came out. good year.”

Economists had expected just 250,000 new jobs last month, down from a revised 398,000 in June. Instead, July turned out to be the best month since February.

The strong numbers are good news for the Biden administration and Democrats at a time when many voters are worried about the economy.

Inflation is at its highest level in more than 40 years and the economy has contracted for two quarters in a row, which is the common but informal definition of a recession and does not take into account other factors that economists consider. , as the image of the work.

At the White House, Biden attributed job growth to his policies, even as he acknowledged the pain inflicted by inflation. He emphasized the addition of 642,000 manufacturing jobs during his watch.

“Instead of workers asking employers for jobs, we’re seeing employers have to compete for American workers,” the president said.

Biden boosted job growth through his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and the bipartisan 1 infrastructure bill last year. Republican lawmakers and some leading economists, however, say the administration’s spending has contributed to high inflation.

The president has received other good economic news in recent weeks, as gas prices have steadily declined after averaging just over $5 a gallon in June.

On Wall Street, stocks fell after the jobs report came out. While a strong labor market is a good thing, it also makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates to cool the economy.

“The strength of the labor market in the face of Fed rate tightening already this year clearly shows that the Fed has more work to do,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management. “Overall, today’s report should put the notion of a near-term recession on the back burner for now.”

The Labor Department also reported that hourly earnings posted a healthy 0.5% gain last month and 5.2% more over the past year. But that’s not enough to keep up with inflation, and many Americans have to scrimp to pay for food, gas and even school supplies.

“More work remains to be done, but today’s jobs report shows that we are making significant progress for working families,” the president said.

Job growth was particularly strong last month in the health sector and hotels and restaurants.

The number of Americans who said they were employed rose by 179,000, while the number of unemployed people fell by 242,000. But 61,000 Americans left the labor force in July, reducing the share of those working or looking for work to 62.1% from 62.2% in June.

New Yorker Karen Smalls, 46, began looking for work three weeks ago as a support staff member for social workers.

“I didn’t realize how good the job market is right now,” he said shortly after wrapping up his fifth interview this week. “You watch the news and you see all this bad news … but the job market is amazing right now.”

A single mother, she’s weighing several offers, looking for one that’s close to home and pays enough for her to take care of her two children.

Two years ago, the pandemic brought economic life to a near standstill as businesses closed and millions stayed at home or lost their jobs. The US plunged into a deep two-month recession.

But the massive government bailout—and the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates and pour money into the financial markets—prompted a surprisingly quick recovery. Surprised by the strength of the rebound, factories, shops, ports and freight yards have been overwhelmed with orders and are scrambling to bring back workers they laid off when COVID-19 hit.

The result was shortages of workers and supplies, delayed shipments, and high inflation. In June, consumer prices rose 9.1% from a year earlier, the largest increase since 1981.

The Fed has raised its short-term interest rate four times this year in a bid to tame inflation, with more hikes ahead.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh admitted that businesses and consumers are worried about inflation, but added: “Businesses are still growing and looking for employees. And that’s a good sign.”

In a report full of good news, the Labor Department noted that 3.9 million people worked part-time for economic reasons in July, up 303,000 from June. The department’s economists said that reflected an increase in the number of people whose hours were cut because of inactivity.

Some employers are also reporting signs of slack in the labor market.

Aaron Sanandres, CEO and co-founder of Untuckit, an online clothing company with nearly 90 stores, has found that in recent weeks it’s gotten a little easier to fill jobs at the New York corporate headquarters and part-time jobs at the company. stores

“We had a plethora of candidates,” Sanandres said. He also said the job market has been loosening for engineers, likely as a result of some layoffs at tech companies.

Simona Mocuta, chief economist at State Street Global Advisors, was among those stunned by the strong hiring numbers when other indicators show an economy losing momentum.

Mocut said it’s possible that hiring rose so sharply last month because job seekers, seeing signs of an impending slowdown, are now more willing to take jobs they would have resisted earlier in the year. Conditions may now be “changing in favor of employers,” he said.

US employers add 528,000 jobs in July – Press Telegram Source link US employers add 528,000 jobs in July – Press Telegram

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