You may have noticed that there's this election that's about a month away. You also may have noticed that the monthly jobs report came out Friday morning. What do these two have to do with each other?
At this point, every economic hiccup becomes campaign fodder. That's not to say that this has been. . .um. . .the most fact-based or policy-oriented campaign season in recent memory. To the contrary, at times like this, such data get twisted every which way. So let's take this opportunity to try to do two things. First, take an objective look at what's up and what's down in the job market, and two, muse a bit about the impact of these facts on the election.
On net, employers are adding jobs at a solid clip, nudging the job market towards full employment. That's having two important, positive effects: It's pulling more people off the sidelines and back into the labor force, and it's boosting the pace of wage growth. There are, however, pockets of weakness in some key sectors.