The July 2015 Employment Situation Report and ADP Employment Report both dropped last week, revealing a good-news-bad-news take on the state of the job market. The good news: last month, private-sector employers added 185,000 new jobs. The not-so-good news: that figure was decidedly much smaller than the 215,000 that analysts were predicting, and especially short of the 229,000 jobs that were created in June.
While it’s not entirely clear exactly why July’s employment figures fell short of both expectations and the previous month’s numbers, it’s not necessarily cause for concern. In fact, as Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez points out in a Labor Department press release, there is plenty of good to take away even from an otherwise disappointing jobs report:
- New jobs are still new jobs: Sure, it might not be the 215,000 that many were expecting and hoping for, but 185,000 new jobs is still 185,000 new jobs — and 185,000 Americans being put to work. Even more impressive is that, despite the dip from June and industry expectations, July’s figures still make it the 65th straight month in a row where the private sector added more jobs. All told, that accounts for 13 million jobs created over the near five-and-a-half-year span.
- Historic job growth rates: As Perez points out, 2015 is the first time since 1999-2000 where we’ve had two back-to-back years of non-farm job growth that averaged 200,000 new jobs a month, and the most diverse gains in employment across industries seen since 1998!
- Unemployment is still low: Even if the job growth rate appeared sluggish, it didn’t lose any ground to the unemployment rate, which remains at 5.3 percent, the first time we’ve seen that figure drop below average pre-recession levels.
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