This morning’s jobs report showed decent growth, with 209,000 jobs added in July and the unemployment rate ticking up slightly to 6.2 percent. This month, however, the unemployment rate rose for good reasons—because more people were looking for work, not because people lost jobs. Labor force participation ticked up slightly.
July’s 209,000 jobs is solid, but is a decline from the strong second quarter, when 277,000 jobs were added each month on average. At July’s pace, it would take nearly four more years to get back to pre-recession labor market conditions.
In short, today’s jobs report was solid but not stellar—the slowdown in job growth from the second quarter dampens hopes that we’ve really kicked it into a higher gear.