Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:51 AM and sunset 8:10 PM for 14h 18m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 51.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay begins at Mobile Bay near Mobile, Alabama, as Admiral David Farragut leads a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and seals one of the last major Southern ports.
A new jobs report is out this morning, showing over a half-million (528,000) jobs added to the economy in July 2022. So is this simply great news (‘the economy’s strong’) or bad news (‘the hiring surge may push the Federal Reserve to continue to raise rates to cool an overheating economy’)?
One month is only one month, yet a single development can hold more than one implication. The takeaways from the New York Times this morning seem sensible — they consider the large July job gains as suggestive of several meanings:
U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said on Friday, an unexpectedly strong gain that shows the labor market is withstanding the economic impact of higher interest rates, at least so far.
The impressive performance — which brings the total employment back to its level of February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns — provides new evidence that the United States has not entered a recession.
Wage growth climbed more quickly than economists had expected in July, concerning news for the Federal Reserve at a time when officials are watching for signs of a sustained moderation in pay gains that could help to pave the way to lower inflation.
Average hourly earnings climbed by 5.2 percent in the year through July, more than the 4.9 percent forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, and its growth was revised higher in June.
Stocks on Wall Street were poised to drop on Friday, after the far stronger than expected jobs report upended expectations that the Federal Reserve will be able to slow down its campaign to raise interest rates.
Futures for the S&P 500 pointed to a drop of about 0.8 percent when trading begins, a clear change in direction from the minutes before the release.
The strong jobs report was welcome news for President Biden, who has insisted in recent weeks that the United States is not in recession, even though it has suffered two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
But the report also defied even the president’s own optimistic expectations about the state of the labor market — and appeared to contradict the administration’s theory of where the economy is headed.
Mr. Biden has said for months that he expects job creation to slow soon, along with wage and price growth, as the economy transitions to a more stable state of slower growth and lower inflation.
Leisure and hospitality led the gains, adding 96,000 jobs, including 74,000 at food service and drinking establishments. The sector has been the slowest to recover its losses from the pandemic and remains 7.1 percent below its level in February 2020.
Professional and business services followed close behind, adding 89,000 jobs across management occupations, architecture and engineering services, and research and development. That sector, which suffered little during the pandemic, is now nearly a million jobs above where it stood before the last recession.
Fifty-two percent of Americans say it is a good time to find a job right now, compared with just 11 percent who say it is a bad time, according to a survey conducted last month for The New York Times by the online research firm Momentive. (The rest say the situation is “mixed,” or didn’t answer the question.) Fifty-six percent say the job market is more favorable to employees than employers, and a majority think that these conditions will continue for at least six months.