Friday, July 05, 2019

Record 157,005,000 Employed; 19th Record of Trump Era

By Susan Jones |

 (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

After the Fourth of July fireworks, the fifth of July brings another reason for Americans to celebrate.

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump's presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian non-institutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian non-institutionalized population. That's up a tenth of a point from May's 62.8 percent participation rate.

The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it's been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

The number of Americans not in the labor force, meaning they did not have a job and were not looking for one, dropped by 158,000 last month to 96,057,000 but this number remains near historic highs, as the Baby Boom generation accelerates into retirement.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.7 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.0 percent), Asians (2.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or no change in June.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down from +224,000 to +216,000, and the change for May was revised down from +75,000 to +72,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged 171,000 per month over the last 3 months.

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed "reasonably well" so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned "some ongoing cross-currents," including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed "will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion..." That could mean lower interest rates -- or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

President Trump hailed the strong employment report on his way out of town Friday morning:

We had great numbers this morning -- I think 224,000 jobs. Those were really unexpectedly good. And our country continues to do really well -- really, really well, so we're very happy about it.

I think we are going to be breaking records. If we had a fed that would lower interest rates we'd be like a rocket ship. But we're paying a lot of interest and it's unnecessary. But we don't have a Fed that knows what they're doing. So it is one of those little things. But if we had a Fed that would lower rates, you would have a rocket ship.

When Obama, President Obama was here, he payed close to zero interest. I'm paying real interest. And yet our economy is much better than it's ever been. From Election Day we're over 50 percent increase, and we've made trillions and trillions of dollars -- with a T, trillions. So we're doing very well. But last night was spectacular....