The Job Market Just Did Something It Hasn’t Done Since 1997

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 1 2014 9:33 AM

The Job Market Just Did Something It Hasn’t Done Since 1997

77187733-tuck-hauling-a-shipping-container-prepares-to-drive
The job market, trucking along.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On first glance, today's jobs report looks like a little bit of a letdown. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. added 209,000 jobs in July, compared with 298,000 in June. The unemployment rate ticked higher, just barely. Not seemingly a ton to write home about.

But, as the Washington Post's Zachary Goldfard notes, we've now managed to add at least 200,000 jobs for six months straight—the first time that's happened since 1997. The feat was more impressive back then, since the economy and the job market were smaller. But the employment recovery has trucked along at a fairly respectable pace through a winter during which the economy shrank, and a spring in which it grew at a surprisingly quick 4 percent rate. Here's the three-month rolling average for job creation, for perspective

3_month_average
Advertisement

The market isn't improving as fast as we would like or need it to, but at least it's dependable. 

Jordan Weissmann is Slate's senior business and economics correspondent.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.