Worse-Than-Expected Jobs Report Could Signal Weakening Economy

The American economy produced fewer jobs than expected in June, according to the Labor Department. Non-farm payroll employment increased by 209,000, lower than the 240,000 anticipated. The result may signal a weakening economy, but not slowing enough to prevent further interest rate hikes.

The slowing employment growth represented the worst showing in more than two years. Much of the June increase was sparked by an increase in government jobs, which rose approximately 60,000 last month.

Despite several other sectors eking out small gains, there was a loss of 11,000 retail jobs, while warehouse employment fell by 7,000.

The healthcare and social assistance sectors saw small job gains in the report.

The government employment numbers were below economists’ expectations and were also lower than the private-sector ADP estimate of almost half a million. 

Furthermore, a wider survey of unemployment which includes individuals taking non-desired jobs out of necessity sets the unemployment and discouraged worker rate at almost 7%.

The lower-than-anticipated jobs numbers are unlikely to stop several anticipated interest rate hikes later this year, intended to quell high inflation. The Federal Reserve had boosted interest rates prior to a temporary pause earlier this year.

Markets mostly fell on Friday after the disappointing jobs numbers, while oil reached more than a two-month high.

Former Trump administration economics adviser Larry Kudlow said the employment totals represented a “very soggy and underwhelming report.” 

The former White House official cited the fact that non-farm payrolls were at their weakest standing since the end of 2020. He also referenced downward revisions of April and May jobs numbers by about 110,000. 

“So, actually, we saw only a 99,000 new job gain in June,” he told Fox Business. “That is a very poor number.”

Kudlow said that President Joe Biden “inherited a boom and turned it into a bust.” 

The poor job number came as Biden attempts to tout his economic program, which he dubbed ‘Bidenomics.’

“I still say Bidenomics is baloney,” Kudlow said.