Another Undramatic Jobs Report

The July jobs report can be spun in one of two ways. With a net increase in jobs of 209,000, this was the sixth straight month of job gains over 200,000. But it fell short of consensus economist expectations of 230,000, and the official unemployment rate, which matters a great deal politically, actually ticked up slightly from 6.1% to 6.2%.

Most of the other indicators, from workforce participation rate to the number of “discouraged” workers, were unchanged. What you see is pretty much what you get; there’s not much “hidden” economic news.

So for the umpteenth time, we’re reminded that we’re not in the midst of some rip-roaring recovery. But on the other hand, since stocks dropped precipitously yesterday on fears that falling unemployment and robust growth would spur the Fed to raise interest rates sooner rather than later, maybe we’ll see a good strong rally today.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.