CNN and MSNBC will be talking all day, when they take a break from discussing Trump’s Alabama hurricane forecast, about how the new jobs report is a catastrophe and shows a weakening economy and the China trade war is terrible and Trump now may not get reelected, and so on.
Well, the economy added 130,000 jobs. That’s not a fantastic number, and it’s far less than predicted by a private forecast, and it’s below expectations.
But it’s not too bad either, especially considering we’re in a trade war with China and the press spends all day talking down the economy. Meantime, wages continue climbing and unemployment remains unchanged.
From the Wall Street Journal, which offers a more balanced assessment than you will see elsewhere:
Employers added to payrolls at a steady pace and unemployment stayed historically low in August, suggesting the U.S. economy held firm during a month when a deepening global slowdown and faltering manufacturing activity stoked fears of a sharp U.S. slowdown.
The U.S. economy added 130,000 payrolls in August, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% for the third consecutive month, remaining near its 50-year low.
Average hourly earnings climbed a seasonally adjusted 3.2% from August 2018, down from a recent peak of 3.4% in February and offering few signs of a breakout.
Overall, the job market was on slightly weaker footing than expected. Payrolls in June and July were revised down by a combined 20,000, while economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had estimated that employers added 150,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate was in line with forecasts at 3.7% last month.
For the three months ended in August, average monthly payroll growth was 156,000, down from an average 190,000 a month in the eight years since jobs started growing after the last recession.