“Today’s economic report is so positive, in a long string of positives, that it’s boring.” [Tired of winning yet?] Comprehensive jobless rate counts everyone who says he wants a job; at 7%, is lowest it's ever been. –Michael Farren, Mercatus Center

Sep 08, 2018, 03:19 AM



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Image: WPA poster promoting the benefits of employment


When Good Economic News Becomes Boring: The August 2018 Jobs Report, by Michael Farren, Research Fellow, Study of American Capitalism @MichaelDFarren

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the August national jobs statistics this morning, continuing a long trend in positive reports. Unemployment remains low, job growth remains strong, and secondary labor market measures continue to show improvement. The good economic news has almost become boring, but a lack of excitement isn’t bad. As problems go, boring economic news is probably one of the best to have.

Employment Employers added 201,000 new jobs in August, slightly exceeding economists’ expectations. Employment growth for June and July was revised downward by a total of 50,000 jobs, but June was a surprising outlier in job creation and the revision brings it more in line with the average job growth each month.

Revisions of this size are not unusual—last month’s employment estimates for May and June were revised upward by 59,000 total jobs (and the March and April job growth estimates were revised upward by 37,000 before that). This is just the nature of working with the most recent data, which has not had all of the seasonal adjustments added in yet.

Unemployment The number of people actively looking for work (those who are ‘officially’ unemployed) fell by 46,000 while the number of people who were working part-time for economic reasons (like an inability to find full-time work, seasonal declines in demand, or unfavorable business conditions) fell by 188,000. The headline unemployment rate (U-3) remained constant at 3.9 percent.

Interestingly, the number of people who wanted a job but weren’t actively seeking employment actually rose by 226,000. This led the comprehensive jobless rate to increase slightly to 7.0 percent . . .   https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/when-good-economic-news-becomes-boring