A Disappointing Jobs Report

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 2 2013 8:41 AM

A Disappointing Jobs Report

The labor market recovery continues to plod along, adding a disappointing 162,000 jobs in July according to the payroll survey, but with the household recording a 0.2 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent.

A lot of professional forecasters who'd been looking at other aspects of the data anticipated a better number than this. And perhaps they'll be vindicated when revisions are in. These numbers really do move quite a bit as more information becomes available. But, of course surprises, on the downside are possible as well as surprises on the upside.

Advertisement

The fact that this happens is a reminder of how insane it is that we've had months of speculation about when the Federal Reserve is going to start "tapering" its quantitative easing bond purchases. The inflation data has been crystal clear about the fact that we continue to be in a very low-inflation environment. But some things that looked like good news on the jobs front had people itching to head for the exit doors. The dual mandate isn't supposed to work like that. The employment aspect of it is a reason to sometimes avoid tight money even when inflation is running over 2 percent. There's never a reason to implement tighter money when inflation is below the target level.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 18 2014 1:34 PM Americans Fault Obama for Giving Them Exactly the Anti-ISIS Strategy They Want
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 2:18 PM The NFL Is Not a Nonprofit So why does it get to act like one?
  Life
Doonan
Sept. 18 2014 2:00 PM On the Death of My Homophobic Dog I named him Liberace, but I couldn’t have chosen a less appropriate namesake for this coarse, emotionally withholding Norwich terrier.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 2:32 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Friendliness of Chicago
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 2:39 PM Here's How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.