June Jobs Report: Progress Made, But Much Work Ahead

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report for June, finding that the economy added 80,000 jobs last month. Jobs numbers for May were revised upwards to 77,000, and numbers for April were revised downwards to 69,000. The unemployment rate remains at 8.2%

There are some reasons to be optimistic. The manufacturing sector added 11,000 jobs in June – growth in manufacturing jobs during Obama’s first term has been stronger than during Bush’s first term. The health sector added 13,000 jobs, marking the strongest growth of any sector. 

Despite this progress, overall job creation did not keep pace with labor force entry. Thus, a lot of work lies ahead ensuring a strong and continuous recovery. Below is a roundup of economic commentators’ thoughts on today’s jobs report:   

Washington Post’s Ezra Klein sees the numbers as “an overwhelming case for, say, hiring hundreds of thousands of workers to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, or passing a large employer-side payroll tax cut to goose hiring,” but finds “little chance House Republicans will greenlight either policy response.”

New York Times’ financial correspondent Floyd Norris notes that the dismal numbers are simply following historic seasonal trends 

Slate’s Matthew Yglesias argues that “the dominant factor in the labor market today is weak demand.

The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber suggests that Obama’s American Jobs Act has the potential to jumpstart the recovery.