The July jobs report came out today and the numbers have allayed fears of a slowing economy. There was good news in the report for women, workers, and American families.
The economy added 164,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, a near 50-year low according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There’s more to the story though. Workers are increasingly coming off the sidelines. Employers are increasing wages and offering benefits to attract workers. People who want to work full-time are better able to find those opportunities.
Just take a look at these 3 positive stats from the July jobs report:
3.9 Million: The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job fell below 4 million for the first time since before the Great Recession as the Washington Post points out.
63 Percent: The share of people working or looking for work – also known as the labor force participation rate — increased to 63 percent in July, marking the second straight monthly rise.
3.2 Percent: Wages for workers rose 3.2 percent from a year ago, beating last month’s increase. Rising wages are also outpacing inflation which means that families can get more for their money.
Women should be pleased that the healthcare industry and other services industries continue to be steady sources of jobs growth.
As a new McKinsey report projecting the jobs that are most likely to be automated explains healthcare jobs including home health aids are a safe bet. These jobs, which are dominated by women, will be in high demand as baby boomers age. Jobs connected to human creativity or "socioemotional skills" — think interior designers, psychologists, massage therapists, and dietitians — will also grow. Again, more areas for women to flourish and build their own businesses.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed help wanted signs in many restaurants and shops. Help wanted signs are a real-time indication that the economy is healthy. It signals that people are confident enough to open their wallets to spend and dine out, which creates jobs.
That’s a reason to continue the policies that have stimulated the economy to keep this longest-running economic expansion going, such as tax cuts and deregulation, not tax increases and greater needless regulations.
There are areas for concern though. As the Wall Street Journal highlights there’s a slowing of manufacturing hiring from a slowdown in manufacturing production – a possible sign of the impact of tariffs.