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Employers in July hired more than double the number of people experts had predicted, 528,000, after many predicted the number to be just 258,000. Unemployment is now at the lowest level in half a century, at 3.5%.

CNBC calls today’s report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics “far better than expected, defying signs that the economic recovery is losing steam.

That was far from the only good news in Friday’s release.

“Wage growth also surged higher, as average hourly earnings jumped 0.5% for the month and 5.2% from the same time a year ago,” CNBC notes. “Despite downbeat expectations, the July gains were the best since February and well ahead of the 388,000 average job gain over the past four months.

“The bureau noted that private sector payrolls are now higher than the February 2020 level, just before the pandemic declaration,” a massive accomplishment, as economists are noting.

Economist Justin Wolfers, a professor at University of Michigan, New York Times contributor and a Senior Fellow at Brookings sums up today’s news.

“Put that recession talk away, and change the subject. A vibecession ain’t no recession: July payrolls came in at a huge +528k, and unemployment is down to 3.5%. A whap-bop-a-loopa-a-whap-bam-boo!”

Minutes later he added: “Hang on… I just-recalculated the unemployment rate (to extra decimal places), and at 3.46%, THIS IS THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN OVER HALF A CENTURY.”

Wolfers, continuing to examine the report, finds even more good news.

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The number of people forced to work “part-time for economic reasons, — is also at the lowest rate ever recorded.”

Putting another economic overview on the data, Wolfers explains: “We’re back, baby.”

David Rothkopf, who wears many hats including professor of international relations, political scientist, journalist, CEO, podcast host, author, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations also summed up the news.

“To recap,” he writes. “More jobs created during Biden presidency than the net of the preceding 8 yrs added up. More jobs created during Biden presidency than the last 3 GOP admins added up. More jobs created last month than the net total of the entire Trump presidency. In short: Lotta jobs.”

Economist David Rothschild takes a moment to examine how the negativism of the media is affecting the economy.

“Disconnect between reality of healthy US economy and negative mainstream media narrative is startling: beyond demonstrating a Republican bias in trying to undermine Democrats, it is an actual serious source of harm to the an economy where confidence & expectations matter.”

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He adds: “Mainstream Media/Republicans will argue that ‘numbers’ don’t tell real story of how working class (obviously for them they mean white working class) families are hurt by inflation: but reality is jobs are plenty & wage growth is keeping pace w/ inflation.”

Rothschild also preempts any talk of recession.

“Amazing job growth, strong & sustainable wage growth, and slowing inflation: WE ARE NOT IN A RECESSION.”

And economist Danny Blanchflower, an economics professor at Dartmouth, has a word of advice for workers: ask for a raise.

“Workers should definitely not refrain from asking/demanding inflation adjusted pay increases. They can tell the bosses it is their turn to show up.”

This is a breaking news and developing story.

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    Virginias Outdoor Recreation Economy Grew Almost 21 Percent in 2021

    Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy grew 20.9 percent in 2021, adding $9.4 billion and making up 1.6 percent of Virginia’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to a November report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

    “I’m thrilled to see this level of economic growth of Virginia’s outdoor recreation. I’m looking forward to continuing my work in Washington to ensure that our outdoorsmen and women have the opportunities and resources they need to continue enjoying their time in our great outdoors for generations to come,” Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said in a newsletter Friday.

    The commonwealth’s outdoor economy included 106,993 jobs, 2.6 percent of the commonwealth’s total employment, and $4.8 billion in compensation, 1.4 percent of the Virginia total. The top activity was boating/fishing, generating about $5.5 million, with RVing at $3.1 million and hunting/shooting/trapping at just under $3.1 million. The 2021 numbers show growth across activities from 2020, except in boating/fishing, which added nearly $6.7 million in 2020, and hunting/fishing/trapping, which added about $3.3 million in 2020.

    “The abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities in Virginia like boating, fishing, hunting, equestrian, and others, played a significant contribution to this growth. Additionally, Virginia is one of 17 states with a Virginia Office of Outdoor Recreation which has done great work in preparing the state for new businesses and jobs, supporting rural communities, and improving public health through outdoor activities,” Wittman wrote.

    Virginia’s growth trails a 24.7 percent increase for the whole United States. The Commonwealth was 18th among states for contribution to the state’s GDP, called Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) value added, and 37th among states for growth. Nationally, Hawaii has the largest ORSA value added: 4.8 percent of the state’s GDP, with 47.3 percent growth from 2020.

    Boating/fishing, RVing, and hunting/shooting/trapping were also the biggest activities nationally, making up over $63 billion in value added.

    “Inflation-adjusted (“real”) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy increased 18.9 percent in 2021, compared with a 5.9 percent increase for the overall U.S. economy, reflecting a rebound in outdoor recreation after the decrease of 21.6 percent in 2020. Real gross output for the outdoor recreation economy increased 21.7 percent, while outdoor recreation compensation increased 16.2 percent and employment increased 13.1 percent,” the BEA reported.

    – – –

    Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
    Photo “Man Camping in the Woods” by juan mendez.

     

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