Joe Biden’s Economy Added 528,000 Jobs In July, How Awful (For Fox News)!

The economy added 528,000 new nonfarm jobs to US payrolls in July, beating by a bit more than double the Dow Jones forecast of 258,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent, also a little better than the forecast of 3.6 percent. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that both the number of total nonfarm jobs and the unemployment rate have now returned to where they were in February 2020, before the pandemic recession hit.

The report saw “widespread” job increases across the economy, “led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care.” In another encouraging statistic, the number of long-term unemployed Americans — those who’ve been jobless for 27 weeks or more — is down to 1.1 million, which is also back to pre-pandemic levels.

Fox news went with a chyron that, in small print, acknowledged there were 629,000 more jobs in July than the month before the pandemic, but screaming that the White House had missed the forecast. Spinning “twice as good as expected” as a fuckup is a hell of a trick!

The growth in jobs occurred even though the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in an effort to control inflation, which remains high; it’s likely the Fed will again ratchet up interest rates to keep a lid on inflation, particularly since average wages also increased last month, as CNBC notes:

Wage growth also surged higher, as average hourly earnings jumped 0.5% for the month and 5.2% from the same time a year ago. Those numbers add fuel to an inflation picture that already has consumer prices rising at their fastest rate since the early 1980s. The Dow Jones estimate was for a 0.3% monthly gain and 4.9% annual increase.

CNBC’s mandatory quote from an economist, this time Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders, was nice and upbeat, too:

There’s no way to take the other side of this. There’s not a lot of, “Yeah, but,” other than it’s not positive from a market or Fed perspective […] For the economy, this is good news.

Also too, since gas prices have been steadily declining, it’s just possible that all the hype about an impending recession might be only hype, too.

Which is not to say that Fox News’s Maria Bartiroma didn’t do her best to suggest disaster might be right around the corner, oh please god let the economy crash before the election. Bartiromo seemed almost on the verge of tears (maybe it was allergies) while explaining that this is good news for the economy, but wait! The Fed will intervene and maybe that’ll be terrible!

Now, as always, we’ll point out that the numbers are subject to revision; today’s report corrected the May and June jobs numbers slightly upward as Business Insider notes:

The June increase was updated to 398,000 payrolls from 372,000. The May count was revised to a final count of 386,000, up from the prior total of 384,000 jobs.

Because the job surveys are conducted during one week in the middle of each month, the BLS reports can miss big swings like those that happened as the economy collapsed in 2020 and started recovering rapidly last summer. The pace of change in the economy driven by the COVID pandemic seems a lot less frenetic, so we’d guess (from our definitely not an economist perspective) that it seems unlikely any revisions to the July numbers will be terribly dramatic either way.

On the whole, this is pretty good news, and we’re sure that by tonight, Fox will finally have found a way to complain that we’re just not hearing enough about Hunter Biden’s laptop as we should.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics / CNBC / Business Insider / Image: Patrick Rodenbush on Twitter]

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