WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is adding lots of jobs, but a drop in the number of hours at work points to a dimmer outlook for economic growth as businesses brace for an escalating trade war with China.
Many economists think the economy only needs to add about 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with new entrants to the workforce. So data released on Friday showing 164,000 jobs were added in July suggests the historically low jobless rate might fall further.
Economy - Recession
That is, as long as the economy doesn’t go into a recession.
The Labor Department’s employment report for July showed an index of hours worked across the economy fell 0.2% in July. The index, which economists treat as an early indicator of economic growth, has been cooling for much of this year.
Reading - Growth - Turn - Contraction - Slowing
So far, this reading might only point to slower growth, rather than a sharp turn toward economic contraction. https://tmsnrt.rs/336RHbk
“The slowing is taking place in a gradual and unthreatening fashion,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan.
But there are worrisome signs in the economy. A significant part of the weakness in hours worked came from the manufacturing sector, which is particularly exposed to an escalating...
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