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Silver Linings in a Lousy Jobs Report

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The July jobs report showed a glimpse of hope. But the August numbers don’t look so hot. What was supposed to be an additional 225,000 jobs panned out to be a mere 142,000.

That’s the weakest monthly gain so far in 2014.

What’s more, June and July’s numbers were knocked down a bit.

More Americans gave up looking for work, pushing the labor force participation rate down. And it doesn’t stop there…

The manufacturing sector, which was recently revived, stalled, and for the first time since February, retail jobs (a major source of employment) declined.

Though the second quarter suggested a promising trend for the labor market, this latest report suggests otherwise.

But some experts just aren’t ready to throw in the towel…

Golden Nuggets to Glean

Nariman Behravesh at IHS highlights the jobs report’s positives: “Wage gains were quite strong. Average hourly earnings were up. Long-term unemployment numbers [are] down. It’s down around where it was in 2009. The rate of people who are underemployed, people who want to work full time but are only finding part-time jobs, that’s going down. So there was good news in this, as well.”

It’s not just Nariman, though. Even White House Spokesman Jason Furman argues that the numbers were a blip in a broader, more positive context: “The general trend of jobs: up. 207,000 a month, on average, over the last three months. Over 2.4 million jobs added in the past year, and we now have the longest private sector streak of job creation on record. 54 straight months. 10 million jobs added.”

With that being said, there are still small feats to acknowledge that point to a positive economic future. Though the growth isn’t accelerating as quickly as folks would like, Wells Fargo’s Chief Economist, John Silvia, argues that we’re still looking at 2.5% economic growth.

It’s not what we want, but it’s something to recognize.

In pursuit of the truth,

Politics Research Team