Economy adds 187,000 jobs in July 2023: CEI analysis

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The U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs in July, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not spectacular but not bad, say CEI experts.

Ryan Young, CEI Senior Economist:

“Once again, the labor market stays strong in the face of rising interest rates. While 187,000 new jobs isn’t spectacular, there isn’t much room for growth. The labor force participation rate is down roughly a million and a half workers from pre-COVID levels, but nearly all of that was due to early retirements. If job growth were to stay at current levels, that would mean 2.24 million new jobs, which would easily account for a restored labor participation rate, plus population growth.

“Today’s job news, plus 2.4 percent economic growth, should convince the Fed to continue raising rates to fight inflation and the political branches to lay off the stimulus.”

Sean Higgins, CEI Research Fellow:

“Friday’s Labor Department report shows that the jobs market remains incredibly tight despite the lower-than-expected gains of 187,000 jobs in July. The official jobless rate fell to 3.5 percent, down marginally from the previous month. Employers are slowing hiring but, crucially, are not shedding jobs. Instead, wages rose by 14 cents in July. After struggling for years to staff up and fill gaps, employers are loath to let workers go for fear that they won’t be able to re-hire them later. Friday’s report is bad news for employers in one respect: It is likely to spur more strikes and threats of strikes like at UPS or Hollywood by unions making use of the strong position that workers are currently in.”