Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the July 2015 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Sixty-five straight months of private-sector job growth and 215,000 jobs added to the economy last month are the top takeaways from today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American labor market is economically healthier today than at any other point since the Great Recession, with job growth averaging more than 243,000 new jobs every month in the last year alone.
At the same time, weak wage growth means that the benefits of the recovery have yet to reach the working Americans that are the backbone of the economy. The Obama administration has taken notable steps in recent weeks to expand workplace protections that will ensure a stronger, more inclusive economy, including an expansion of outdated overtime protections and a draft executive order to extend earned, paid sick leave to government contractors. These are especially important in light of Congress’ refusal to act on the minimum wage and other crucial initiatives that would help strengthen labor-force participation.
With the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, scheduled to meet next at the end of the September, hawkish comments from some FOMC members have spurred new rumblings of a possible interest rate hike. After the June FOMC meeting, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen noted continued slack in the labor market—elevated involuntary part-time employment, subdued wage growth, and participation below trend—and inflation has been below the Fed’s target for 38 consecutive months. Her assessment that “room for further improvement remains” still fits the data. At this stage in the recovery, an interest rate hike from the Fed would only serve to hamstring the continued economic turnaround.
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org.