Despite the mixed headlines, the July jobs report was a strong one. Various details and simple adjustments tell the tale, from specific industries — notably manufacturing — to wages. There was no sign that trade tensions are slowing job growth, and the household survey indicated that labor demand remains robust enough to push employers to continue reconsidering their hiring requirements.
The Federal Reserve’s policy statement already sucked the wind out of this report. With policymakers’ hand-waving about recent unemployment prints staying low and inflation remaining near 2%, and market-implied expectations for a hike in September above 90%, there’s little mystery here. The December meeting is the big question mark, and we have months of data between now and then. More touch-and-go are the wage numbers and any signs that trade tensions are having an impact, for which all eyes will remain peeled. In the meantime, look for more signs of employers getting creative as they struggle to attract workers while managing their costs
As iCIMS’ former chief economist, Josh Wright led a team of data scientists in analyzing emerging trends in the U.S. labor market. With publications ranging from academic journals to national media, Wright previously served as a U.S. economist with Bloomberg L.P., and was a staff researcher at the Federal Reserve.