Despite the U.S. economy adding fewer jobs than expected in September — 136,000 versus a projected 145,000 gain — unemployment hit a five-decade low of 3.5%, down from 3.7% in August.
This “just shows what a strong animal the U.S. economy is,” Joseph Minarik, senior vice president and director of research at the Committee for Economic Development, told Yahoo Finance.
“There is strength out there,” Minarik said, citing growth in services and in the public sector at the local and state government levels.
He suggested that, when looking at the economy’s consistently limited job growth, you must factor “potential job growth equal to the growth of the labor force.”
“I'm frankly surprised that the economy has been able to generate the number of jobs it has over some period of time now. So yeah, I'd be very satisfied with continuing those kinds of numbers that will absorb the new entrants into the workforce and keep us pretty healthy and happy,” Minarik said.
Wage growth was up 2.9%, disappointing Wall Street estimates of 3.2% growth, but Minarik said that it’s “good for workers, not over the top — not frothy — which will help the Federal Reserve to remain relatively calm about how they react.”
Not everybody shares Minarik’s rosy view of the jobs report. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi referred to the employment report as “generally limp” and cited another veteran economist who noted that the Trump economy only deserves a “B” right now.
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