The Good Kind Of Higher Unemployment

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In the face of generally positive numbers, the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percent from May - when it reached an 18-year low of 3.8 percent - to the current 4.0 percent. This suggests renewed economic optimism among less-skilled or less-educated workers.

The latest jobs report overall showed encouraging signs for the US economy, the New York Times reports. Full-time employment was up by 9,100 By sector, employment in goods producing industries was up by 46,600, the highest since April 2012, led by construction and manufacturing Service producing industries lost 14,700 jobs during the month Self-employment was up by 22,000, with employment in the public sector rising by 11,800. "Not only did payroll employment increase by 213,000 - evidence that employers are finding workers - but wage growth held steady at a disappointing 2.7 percent - evidence that employers are not having to raise wages to attract and retain workers". But retailers shed 21,600 jobs, with the losses concentrated at general merchandise stores.

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The June jobs report is out and it's a beat. It was 14.5 per cent in May, but 15.5 per cent in June. The agency says more people were seeking job opportunities and that forced the rate up to 6%. The labor force participation rate, or the number of people who are actively employed or looking for work, rose to 62.9% from 62.7%.

The economy also faces a substantial threat from the trade tension with China and from other trade disputes with US allies, including Canada and Europe.

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President Donald Trump and Republicans are running on a growing economy going into the 2018 midterm elections, especially since Trump signed the Republican tax reform plan into law at the end of 2017. Any escalation in the conflict with China could disrupt hiring as companies grapple with higher import prices and diminished demand for their exports.

The Trump administration has also applied tariffs on steel and aluminum from allies like Canada and Mexico and has threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement. Automakers added 12,000 jobs in June.

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