Jobs report beats expectations, but rising unemployment signals cooling labor market

Amna Nawaz:

Today, President Joe Biden is in office. In more than one appearance today, he has stressed that he has no plans to leave the campaign, despite calls from some Democrats and supporters. We’ll have more on that story later in the program.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, marking the 42nd straight month of job growth; 206,000 new jobs were created in June. Government hiring accounted for more than a third of that, followed by health care, social assistance and construction. The unemployment rate also rose slightly to 4.1 percent, marking the first time it has exceeded 4 percent in more than two years.

And there were other signs of a cooling labor market. Job growth in April and May was revised down by more than 100,000 jobs.

For a deeper look at what this means for the economy, I talk to Roben Farzad, host of the public radio program “Full Disclosure.”

Roben, always nice to see you.

So what do these numbers tell you? Is it a sign that the economy is cooling?

Roben Farzad, host of “Full Disclosure”: Market observers, economists, have been looking forward to this for a long time because the Fed had to raise rates after I think they made a mistake in getting through the pandemic and leaving rates too low for too long. So I think they’re still trying to address inflation.

But it’s strange. Are you hoping for good news? Yes, if you’re the White House. Are you hoping for bad news? Maybe if you’re an investor or a trader. And yet the market is at an all-time high. Real estate is at an all-time high. Crypto looks puffy.

So it’s a real debate on Wall Street. Do we need rate cuts at all? Maybe the Fed just needs an excuse to maybe cut a little bit and wait.

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