As Wall Street cheered the July jobs report, which showed a hardy gain of 209,000 new jobs, Federal Reserve officials and economists question the health of the U.S. job market.
The July jobs report revealed Maryland added 800 jobs, as the loss of government jobs canceled out gains in the private sector. Maryland’s unemployment rate declined to 4 percent, as 6,300 people joined the workforce in July.
In July, Maryland lost 10,700 government jobs and gained 11,500 jobs in the private sector. A total of 2,200 private sector jobs were lost in three different sectors, including trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities and professional and business services, but these declines were offset by gains elsewhere.The greatest job growth was seen in the state’s education and health services, which added 9,800 jobs. A total of 600 jobs were added in the leisure and hospitality sector, 1,000 jobs were added in the manufacturing sector and 2,700 in construction. Construction and manufacturing were the hit hard during the last recession.
Last week, two top Fed policymakers spoke out against the likelihood of additional interest rate increases. Some central bankers also argue that the absence of wage growth and low inflation cast doubt on the belief that the labor market is fully healed.
A total of 7.6 million workers held multiple jobs in July, up from 7.4 2 percent from July 2016. Economist Komal Sri-Kumar told Business Insider, “In a robust economic recovery, the number of full-time workers should be rising and the number of workers employed part-time or holding multiple jobs should decline.”