Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Still Gaining Jobs


So far this year, our economy has added over a 1 million jobs.  It added 151,000 jobs in August, which was considerably less than the 275,000 new jobs in July.

Earlier this year the unemployment rate fell below 5 percent for the first time since 2008.  It remains at 4.9 percent.  Experts consider 4.9 percent unemployment to be at or near the level consider full employment for our economy.  Job growth is predicted to slow.  Some Fed officials claim, that our economy only needs to add roughly 100,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate this low.

Since 2010, the August jobs report has been historically volatile and weak. It is usually the worst month for jobs gains, when first published.  The Labor Department revises each month twice, so those figures could change.

Wage growth slowed in August, after showing signs of momentum in previous months.  Paychecks grew 2.4 percent last month compared to a year ago.  Wages have been one of the slowest to move in the right direction.  Their slow pace is the primary reason why our economic recovery hasn’t been felt by most American.

Employment in construction, manufacturing and mining, which are typically good-paying jobs declined in August.  All together, those industries lost 24,000 jobs last month.

Part of the slowdown in manufacturing is the result of a slow global economy and the strong U.S. dollar.  Our strong currency makes American products more expensive, and less attractive to foreign buyers.

Financial services, health care and food industries showed double-digit growth in jobs.  America's economic growth has averaged about 1 percent in the first half of this year.

A Federal Reserve rate hike was most likely to have occurred if the August job report had been very strong.  However, August job gains fell below expectations.

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