The United States created 201,000 new jobs in August, keeping the unemployment rate at an 18-year low and generating the fastest increase in worker pay since the end of the Great Recession.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 200,000 increase in new nonfarm jobs.
The lackluster jobs reports of the Obama years were always “unexpectedly” low, and the Trump era reports, which show a robust economy, are also always “unexpectedly” good.
Of course, if you believe in deregulation and tax cuts, you might have expected numbers such as we saw this morning.
The unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent.
And there was more welcome news:
The biggest news in the August employment report was a sharp increase in pay.
The average wage paid to American workers rose by 10 cents to $27.16 an hour. What’s more, the yearly rate of pay increases climbed to 2.9% from 2.7%, marking the highest level since June 2009.
There was some bad news (again, not unexpected to those who are concerned about tariffs):
Employment fell by 3,000 in manufacturing, the first decline in 13 months. U.S. tariffs and a scarcity of skilled laborers may finally be taking their toll.
. . .
Aside from a shortage of skilled labor, companies say their biggest problem is coping with a spate of higher U.S. and foreign tariffs that have raised the cost of key materials such as steel and lumber and made it harder to obtain supplies.
The black unemployment rate, while higher than that of Hispanics and whites, is 6.3 percent, the second lowest ever recorded (it was 5.9 percent in May).
Inflation is a concern and we don’t know what the fallout from a Fed interest rate hike will be, but this is an astonishingly healthy economy.
When the uninspiring jobs reports came out during the Obama years, we were told that it was the “new normal”–that this was what our economy would be like from now on.
No responsibility was assigned for the former administration’s economic policies.