Amid the recent emergence and rapid spread of the delta variant in the United States, and with expanded unemployment benefits and monthly child tax credits (stimulus) payments flowing to millions of Americans, the Labor Department on Friday nevertheless issued an encouraging report on the U.S. employment situation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm payroll employment rose by a strong 943,000 in July, following increases of +938,000 (revised) in June and +614,000 (revised) in May. (Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal were expecting nonfarm payroll to increase by 845,000 jobs in July.)
The unemployment rate declined by half a percentage point to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent last month. That is the best showing since the 4.4 percent unemployment rate in March 2020, just as COVID began causing massive economic dislocation.
Still, Jones did bring in a right-wing activist to at least allude to negativity:
Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy group, noted on Friday that job growth is following vaccination growth.
"Even in the midst of a vaccine-induced recovery, only 10 percent of small businesses say they’ve fully recovered from the pandemic, according to the latest JCN Foundation Monthly Monitor Poll of small businesses, and that's only a 1 percent increase from the previous month.
"Even these gains are in danger," Ortiz warned, as blue state governors and mayors impose new mandates...on small businesses that are already experiencing staffing shortages."
The only sidebar this time was the usual complaint by editor Terry Jeffrey that governments added jobs, as if they don't count as real jobs or that the people who hold them don't do real work.