July's Employment Report

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, July continues the hot streak of job growth. It represents the 82nd consecutive month of job growth. Here are the headlines.
Job Growth
In July, U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs. 
Unemployment
Economists have seen movement in the unemployment rate over recent months, but the overall trend is a steady decline. In July, the unemployment rate remained relatively stable at 4.3%.

Closer Look 
An interesting data point in the monthly employment report, often glazed over by other news sources, is the number of involuntary part-time workers. These are workers who are willing to work full-time, but are forced to work only part-time due to employer’s needs for full-time workers. This figure has remained constant of late, further indicating that the economy is currently not contracting. 
With the continued job growth, economists have raised concerns about the economy reaching a point of full employment. As one might expect, full employment means that everyone who wants a job, has one. At first take, this may sound like a good thing - which, in some ways, it is. Full employment leaves no person willing to work disadvantaged, and, if the economy continues on its current trajectory, additional growth will spur more hiring. In order to attract more labor market participants, employers will start increasing wages.

Rising wages and more jobs sound great, but to keep the economy from “overheating”, as Ben Cassleman from FiveThirtyEight reports, the Federal Reserve must increase interest rates to curb spending and spur saving, instead. There is not definitive signal that the U.S. economy has reached full employment. Coming months have yet to prove otherwise. 
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Anna Graff

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