Job growth stalls

One of the reasons I have thought Hillary Clinton probably will be elected president, assuming she’s not indicted, is the state of the economy. It’s pretty good now, and Americans recognize this.

The relatively good economy explains why President Obama’s approval rating his risen. It’s borderline decent now. This hasn’t seemed to help Hillary’s poll numbers, but likely would once we get to crunch time.

Today, however, comes a new jobs report. John Steele Gordon describes it as “shockingly terrible.”

I wouldn’t go that far, but the news wasn’t good.

Jobs increased by only 38,000, about 120,000 below expectations. In addition, the number of jobs created in April and March was also revised downwards by 59,000. As Gordon notes, this means that over the last three months, job creation has averaged about 116,000 jobs per month; a notable slowdown from the 12-month average of 219,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell again. It’s down to 4.7 percent.

But the labor force participation rate fell last month by .2 percent to 62.2 percent. According to Gordon, you have to go back forty years to find a participation rate as low as 62.2 percent.

Gordon wonders how this news will affect the Federal Reserve Board’s action on interest rates this month. It might well induce the Fed to keep rates where they are.

If we continue to get job reports like this one during the summer, it won’t just be bad news for the economy; it will be bad news for Hillary Clinton.