Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the June 2018 Employment Situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The U.S. Department of Labor reports the economy added 213,000 jobs in June, with an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent. Slow wage growth of 2.7 percent over the past year—barely keeping pace with inflation—suggests both that many workers are not fully sharing in the benefits of the expansion that began in 2009 and that there is still room for the economy to grow.
However, as the minutes from the last Federal Reserve Open Market Committee noted, “uncertainty” generated by the administration’s chaotic trade policy has caused some U.S. companies to scale back or postpone capital investment. And the Fed is itself continuing to raise interest rates and slow the economy—partly in response to the tax cut bonanza corporations have received from the Trump administration. None of this bodes well for workers who need to see increases in real wages and employment.
The time has clearly come for more information about the health of the labor market—especially for African American and Hispanic workers, who continue to face much higher unemployment rates than white workers. Data also suggest that workers of all races without a college degree face fewer opportunities in the job market, and workers who identify as LGBTQ experience greater economic instability than their peers.
The choices these workers face increasingly dictate the health of the labor market overall, yet real-time data on these groups is woefully imprecise. There remains little indication that price inflation is a threat, and in an increasingly diverse workforce, this means we need better data on marginalized workers if the Fed is going to fulfill its dual mandate.
Related resource: The State of the LGBTQ Community in the Labor Market: Pre-June 2018 Jobs Day Release by Shabab Ahmed Mirza, Daniella Zessoules, Galen Hendricks, Michael Madowitz, and Laura E. Durso
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