03 October 2014

Today's Jobs Report Sets a New Record for Consecutive Months of Job Creation

Last month the economy gained 248,000 jobs but today's announcement is for 317,000 new jobs since July and August numbers were revised upwards by 69,000.

The total for the year is already over 2 million with one quarter to go. Better yet, the fourth quarter has been one of the strongest during the recovery.

We're on track for the best year since 1999. 

This is now the longest uninterrupted streak of positive monthly jobs reports. For exactly four years BLS has reported net gains in job creation, matching the streak in the late 1980s. And this streak is almost certain to go longer. This in the midst of the Tea Party's near-government shut-down last year, Ebola panic this year, repeated Eurozone crises, Arab Spring, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, and the fact that during no other recovery has the federal government been shedding jobs. There have been, in the parlance of the field, some strong headwinds. And during this volatile period, the American economy has created 9.1 million jobs, more than Japan, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia combined.
At 5.9%, the unemployment rate is below 6% for the first time since before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September of 2008 that - for many - marks the beginning of the Great Recession. (In the 14 months after Lehman Brothers, the economy lost 7.2 million jobs, a staggering number.) Better yet, the rate at which the unemployment rate is dropping is accelerating. Accelerating at the point at which the longest previous recovery on record stalled. 

Perhaps the best news about this has yet to play out. For more than a decade, the jobs market has been weak. Imagine a rope that pulls up wages. If that rope is slack - if the unemployment rate is 6% or higher rather than 5% or lower, say - wages stagnate. We are entering a period in which the job market is finally strong enough to not just create jobs but to bid up wages. 

It might just get better. 

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