On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department released its employment numbers for June. The U.S. economy added 224,000 positions last month, far surpassing the 162,000 projected. The number was a vast improvement over the 72,000 jobs added in May.
Average hourly wages grew 3.1% in the past year. And while the unemployment rate crept up from 3.6% to 3.7%, in this instance, that’s good news. The rate ticked up because more Americans have either gone back to work or are now actively looking for a job.
The numbers are especially remarkable in light of a weakening global economy and fears of a trade war with China. The strong showing has eased worries about a weakening economy.
Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, told The Washington Post, “Recession concerns are overblown. There’s no indication the labor market is in trouble or the broader U.S. economy.”
Stocks opened lower on Friday as the strong numbers threatened to derail hopes of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates. Speaking Friday morning, President Trump called the job numbers “really unexpectedly good.” He told reporters that if the Fed were to cut rates, the U.S. would take off “like a rocket ship.”
Whatever the Fed decides to do, the economy — and the numbers and trends driving it — should not be ignored. As we enter this politically charged election season, the onus will be on Democrats to convince Americans to vote on issues rather than their wallets.
Love him or hate him, if the economy remains strong, 2020 will be Trump’s to lose.
— Robin Beres