Friday’s labor-market report showed that the number of full-time U.S. jobs as a share of total employment rose to 81.7 percent, the highest level since November 2008. For those worried (including not a few presidential candidates) that this economic recovery has been one that’s created only low-quality jobs, this should be really good news.
At the same time, the number of employees on the payrolls of temporary work services also fell, declining 8,900, the report showed. All of these statistics combine to paint a picture of a “shift to full-time work,” economists led by Derek Holt at Scotiabank in Toronto wrote in a note to clients.
The rest of the details of the jobs report were also solid. Overall, payrolls climbed by 215,000 in July and the unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent.
Sho Chandra: Retail Sales Show Broad Gain As U.S. Consumers Spur Growth
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in July on growing demand for everything from cars to clothing, and a decline the previous month was wiped away, signaling consumers are propelling growth in the world’s largest economy. Eleven of 13 major categories showed gains. Rising employment, stronger finances and still-cheap fuel is helping draw consumers into stores and auto dealerships.
Growth in household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, is bolstering the expansion as Federal Reserve policy makers move toward lifting interest rates this year for the first time since 2006. “The consumer-driven recovery of the economy continues on track,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, who correctly projected the gain. “The fundamentals are all in place for solid consumer spending. The outlook remains strong for the second half of the year.”
President Barack Obama greets people outside the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn. Aug. 15, 2011. The President stopped to have lunch with five post-9/11 veterans from Minnesota during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. Photo by Samantha Appleton
President Barack Obama holds a baby as he arrives for lunch at the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama prepares to autographs books and photographs in a backstage holding room following a town hall meeting on health care insurance reform at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waves to people along a road in Harmony, Minn., Aug. 15, 2011, during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama visits Sunset Lake in Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza