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Labor news is a mix of bad and good. Job growth was below expectation, but July marked the sixth straight month employment expanded by more than 200,000, a signal of strength last seen in 1997. It appears that the job market has moved from unemployment falling due to people abandoning the labor force, to a real recovery of steady 200,000-plus payroll gains.
In a recently released report, it was confirmed that the labor force participation rate or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, increased to 62.9 percent in July after holding at 62.8 percent for three consecutive months. This shows the economy is steadily expanding but not taking off. This movement will help reinforce for now the Federal Reserve’s commitment to a gradualist policy approach.