Financial markets declared the June jobs report to be a “Goldilocks” one and promptly returned to their summer slumber, troubled only by fears of escalating trade conflict. That label is only a minor exaggeration. From a trader’s perspective, this jobs report didn’t leave much to be desired, although it wasn’t quite as strong as most people declared.
Sure, the headlines were all encouraging, with payroll growth strong and unemployment rising due to higher labor force participation. Yet a large portion of the increase in participation came from an upward revision in the long-term unemployed – people who have been off the sidelines and searching for a while. That said, with involuntary part-time work declining by a substantial 205k and wage growth interminably sclerotic, the basic portrait of a labor market with lingering slack and responding well to fiscal stimulus seems intact. As a possibly last clean read on domestic strength before trade tensions take a toll on sentiment, it was a fitting snapshot of the U.S. job market.
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.