After a busy week in which there was a Federal Reserve interest rate cut and an escalation in the trade war with China, the nation’s economic analysts may be eager to duck out early on a summer Friday. The new employment numbers help their cause.
That’s because, to an uncanny degree, they affirm what we already thought we knew about the state of the American economy — though with an important asterisk.
The 164,000 jobs that employers added to their payrolls in July almost exactly matched the 163,000 that had been forecast. The unemployment rate was unchanged, at 3.7 percent. Workers’ wages rose 0.3 percent in July and are up 3.2 percent over the last year, which represents neither a major acceleration nor deceleration. Annual wage growth has been either 3.1 percent or 3.2 percent for all but one month of 2019. […]