The US economy is continuing to improve as job growth continues to swell. Throughout the last several weeks there has been increased concern voiced about the future of the US economy and its growth. Some felt that it was getting stagnate. This stagnation is something that was making some analysts worry about what might be coming. However, those concerns were put to rest on Friday when it was reported that 280,000 jobs were added to the economy in May. Even a slight uptick in the overall unemployment rate wasn’t enough to erode the success and good feelings associated with adding 280,000 jobs.
Hourly wages saw a nice increase of .3%, which wasn’t overly impressive, but at the same time offered some hope in an area where things had been otherwise flat to this point. This also lends itself to the notion that what the US economy had been seeing in the two months prior, as well as the signs some economists warned as a potential speed bump for the overall economy – were simply a matter of “catch up” from a seriously harsh winter here in the US.
The Federal Reserve is expected to now start focusing on pushing interest rates up beyond their near-zero levels, which is where they currently reside in the coming months. While the concern was more significant about what the overall state of the economy was, many economists believed that the events would give them pause in actually executing that increase in interest rate.
Tara M. Sinclair, an associate professor of economics at George Washington University pointed out that there was significant reason to be excited about these numbers. She said, “This is the best combination of numbers we have seen in many months,” and went on to point out that “wages are ticking up and attracting people back into the labor force; we are still seeing strong employment growth.”
However, there is a definite gap – as many still feel like the discrepancy between Main Street and Wall Street has continued to grow. As more candidates for the White House make themselves known, they’re selling a lot that includes improving the economy for those at the bottom, as Wall Street has seen significant success in recent years. That though, remains a largely political issue, which can’t be argued with the same level of pragmatic detail that the economy can be. There are tangible numbers here at play that can really explain a lot of what is going on.
Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase pointed out that there is real reason to be excited with the numbers that we have currently seen. He pointed out that even as numbers weren’t that great in the first quarter of the year, that was really a reflection of the weather, rather than investor confidence, or consumer confidence. He said, “There’s a lot of reasons to believe that the first quarter was transitory. Presumably, employers saw the same thing — that if you had a bad winter, you wouldn’t change expansion plans.”
The numbers say a lot, but most impressively they say a lot about defeating expectation. These numbers do a great job of easing concern and allowing the big players in the market to really start influencing the overall experience in a positive way. That’s something that the US economy has been after for years, and now it would appear as though a legitimate uptick is now underway.