The Economy in Context: July 2019

As of the latest Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor force participation inched up 0.1 points to 62.9%, where it was the day the current administration took office in January 2017, two and a half years ago. I know I keep beating this drum, but it’s not my fault that it’s the music that isn’t changing.

The official unemployment rate increased by 0.1 points to 3.7%, signalling that many people entering the workforce aren’t able to find jobs. Areas that have been experiencing broad based economic woes two and a half years ago are still experiencing broad based economic woes today, and many jobs are going unfilled because no one wants them.

While the preliminary jobs number for June 2019 were a relatively healthy 224,000 net jobs created, let’s be real. 224,000 isn’t that strong of a number. The current resident of the White House called the same numbers under Obama “weak“, and both April and May were also revised downward, resulting in 11,000 fewer net jobs for those two months.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Board seems poised to reduce the federal funds rate a quarter point from an already low 2.5% back down to 2.25%, a rate it was first lowered to in late 2008 in the middle of the financial crisis. It’s simply a fact that any rate below 4% is a stimulative rate meant to free up cash to accelerate a sluggish economy.

This economy isn’t “better“, and it sure as Hell isn’t “great“. Am I the only sane economics geek left on the right?

Liberty is For The Win!

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