working 9 to 5
The U.S. added 850,000 jobs in June, "far surpassing expectations" and putting the country on pace to reach pre-pandemic levels of health by "the end of 2022," per The Wall Street Journal and the Economic Policy Institute. Average growth over the last three months came in at 567,000, and unemployment changed little, up to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent.
Friday's jobs report appears a "promising sign that the recovery continues on track," after job growth fell short of expectations earlier this spring, writes the Journal. The labor market remains "more than seven million jobs short of where it stood just ahead of the pandemic," but, according to the EPI, June's report reveals "no indication of labor shortage."
The Council of Economic Advisers warned on Tuesday, however, to not put "too much weight" on Friday's number. In a blog post, the CEA suggests that job growth remains "more volatile than before the pandemic," meaning "a single month's jobs report" and its positive or negative implications may not paint as full a picture of U.S. economic health as desired. "Now more than ever," the CEA writes, "it is essential to look at trends and a wide range of indicators rather than data from any single month or source."
As economist Paul Krugman noted on Thursday, "It's a paradox that the pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for high-frequency economic information — and degraded the quality of that information."