The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

U.S. employment increased more than expected in July and wages picked up, which should bolster expectations of an acceleration in economic growth and raise the probability of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this year.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 255,000 jobs last month as hiring rose broadly after an upwardly revised 292,000 surge in June, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent as more people entered the labor market. Highlighting labor market strength, average hourly wages increased a healthy eight cents. Maypayrolls were revised up to 24,000 from the previously reported 11,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing 180,000 in July and the unemployment rate dipping one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent.

Last month’s strong job growth should reinforce the Fed’s confidence in a labor market that officials view as at or near full employment. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the economy needs to create just under 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth.

The second straight month of robust job gains is a boost to an economy after growth averaged a 1.0 percent annual rate in the last three quarters. After a policy meeting last month, the Fed described the labor market as having “strengthened” and said it appeared it was still tightening.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates at the end of last year for the first time in nearly a decade, but has held them steady since amid concerns over persistently low inflation. Most economists expect another rate hike in December, though financial markets have almost priced out that possibility.

The 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings left the year-on-year gain at 2.6 percent.

The payrolls data added to July auto sales in underscoring the economy’s sound fundamentals. Economic growth is expected to accelerate to at least a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter.

But with the bulk of labor market slack largely absorbed and the economy’s recovery from the 2007-2009 recession showing signs of aging, payroll gains will probably drift to average between 150,000 and 160,000 jobs per month later this year, economists say.

Manufacturing sector employment increased by 9,000 jobs in July after adding 15,000 positions in June. Construction payrolls rose 14,000 following three consecutive months of declines. While mining shed a further 7,000 jobs in July.

Other details of the employment report showed a rise in the labor force. That raised the participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, by one-tenth of a percentage point to 62.8 percent.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao) ((Lucia.Mutikani@thomsonreuters.com; 1 202 898 8315; Reuters Messaging: lucia.mutikani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

Photo: People enter the Nassau County Mega Job Fair at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York October 7, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

Youtube Screenshot

Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}