U.S. Jobs Report Calls for Cautious Optimism
Cautious optimism–not celebration–is the right tone for the latest U.S. jobs report.
Blowing away major analysts’ forecasts, the U.S. gained a net 255,000 jobs in July.
The report, which is strong across many industries, also shows an increased work week, gains in hourly earnings, and more labor force participation.
The national unemployment rate is holding steady at 4.9%.
July’s numbers follow a stellar 292,000 job gains in June and a dismal 24,000 new jobs in May.
But that’s the point: We have a lot of volatility, not a steady pattern of strong growth.
If we see three-plus consecutive months of that, that's when you'll hear me say, 'Wow!'
I rather think we are still below a really hot 300,000 net new jobs pace. If we see three-plus consecutive months of that, that's when you'll hear me say, "Wow!"
Nonetheless, July's report is welcome news and should portend a healthy jobs report for Connecticut later this month.
Based on the latest U.S. figures, we should see 5,000-plus net new jobs for Connecticut when the DOL releases its report on Aug. 18.
But since Connecticut figures are far more volatile than U.S. numbers, we'll have to wait and see.
Pete Gioia is an economist with CBIA. Follow him on Twitter @CTEconomist.
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