June Jobs Report: Good Headlines, Meh Beneath Them

Kudos to you if you were alert enough to remember that the official Jobs Report for June would come out today because of tomorrow’s federal holiday.

The top-line numbers, which pretty much matched expectations, were pretty good: 223,000 net new jobs, and the official unemployment rate dropping to 5.3%. There was also an encouraging reduction of 381,000 in the number of long-term unemployed. Monthly net job gains are now averaging 250,000 over the last year.

On the other hand, the labor participation rate actually dropped, and the number of “discouraged workers” was unchanged. And there were downward revisions totaling 60,000 in the net new jobs for April and May.

The slow-but-steady growth narrative continues, but we’ll have to see how the spin goes and more importantly, how the Fed reacts. Considering the jitters in Europe right now, though, a meh month could be a whole lot worse.

UPDATE: Austan Goolsbee–remember him?–makes an important point about the labor force participation rate:

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.