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

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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
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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.

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