What the blowout US jobs numbers actually mean

by | Aug 5, 2022 | World

Are there really more people working than at any period in American history, as President Joe Biden claims?Red-hot US jobs data for July may have calmed concerns about a recession but it also raised the risk of another 75 basis point increase from the Federal Reserve in September.
US employers added 528,000 jobs in July, blowing past all estimates, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and healthcare saw the most job growth overall. The unemployment rate and total nonfarm employment both reached their pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.
“Not only is 528,000 a big number in the context of the last few months, it’s a blockbuster number compared to what we would have pre-pandemic,” Kenneth McLaughlin, economics professor at Hunter College in New York City, told Al Jazeera.
“Before the pandemic, if we had 150,000 for that number say in 2019, that would be really big,” McLaughlin said.
The 528,000 jobs added were more than double the expectations of many seasoned analysts including at Goldman Sachs, where economists had estimated nonfarm payrolls to rise by 225,000 in July.
The hot payroll reports mean the Federal Reserve will continue to increase interest rates in its fight against decades-high inflation. Last week, the US central bank raised rates by 75 basis points. “While another unusually large increase could be appropriate at …

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