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by Max Keating

 

The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in June, according to Department of Labor (DOL) data released Friday, more than double economists’ projections of 250,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5%, according to the DOL’s report, which was also below economists’ predictions of 3.

6%, according to The Wall Street Journal. The economy outperformed last month’s high job growth of 372,000, which had itself outpaced expectations, indicating that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate have not begun to cool off the economy.

Job gains in July were reported across the economy, but were particularly high in the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and health care sectors. The labor force participation rate of 62.1% remained below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level of 63.4%.

Over the last four months the average monthly gain was 388,000, according to the report.

Payroll employment rises by 528,000 in July; unemployment rate edges down to 3.5% https://t.co/1Y9cSWJUIB #JobsReport #BLSdata

— BLS-Labor Statistics (@BLS_gov) August 5, 2022

The U.S. economy has posted consecutive quarters of negative GDP, which some consider to be, by definition, a recession, according to previous DCNF reporting.

But the Biden administration and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have argued that a strong labor market is one reason why the economy is not yet in a recession, since technically the National Bureau of Economic Research — the semi-official arbiter — defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months” and, among other things, looks at employment statistics to determine if that has happened.

“I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession. And the reason is there are just too many areas of the economy that are performing too well. And of course, I would point to the labor market, in particular,” Powell said last week after the central bank raised interest rates by 0.75% to a new target range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

There are far more job openings that unemployed workers, according to a recent report from the National Federation of Independent Business, making it a very difficult time for businesses seeking to hire.

Still, E.J. Antoni, research fellow for regional economics at the Heritage Foundation, poured some cold water on the report. “Despite a blockbuster headline number, the labor market data continues to be a mixed bag. The labor force participation rate fell yet again in July, artificially pushing the unemployment number down.” Antoni told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Antoni also noted a divergence between the household and establishment survey, with the former suggesting just 179,000 jobs added in July.

“The number of jobs added might be closer to 150k, not half a million. The labor market definitely has considerable chinks in its armor and is not nearly as robust as the headlines would have us believe.”

The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

– – –

Max Keating is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Business Office” by sigre.

 

 

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Tags: department of labor economists july job gains across the economy unemployment rate the labor market according the labor market the unemployment the unemployment in a recession interest rate the national the economy

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Wildfires return to France as much of Europe suffers drought conditions

Paris (CNN)Thousands of hectares have been destroyed as a new fire rages in the Gironde area of southwestern France, barely two weeks after two major blazes destroyed more than 20,000 hectares of forests in the same region, according to official data.

"The fire has already destroyed 6,000 hectares of forest and 6,000 people have also been evacuated overnight," said Martin Guesperau, deputy commissioner for defense and security at the Nouvelle-Aquitaine prefecture, on Wednesday. The fire started on Tuesday.The main A63 highway between Bordeaux and Bayonne "will be closed both ways," the Gironde prefecture said in a press release Wednesday. "The fire is very virulent and has spread to the department of Landes," it added.
    The flames have destroyed 16 houses but no injuries were reported, according to the press release. Authorities said 500 firefighters supported by water bombers have been mobilized to combat the fire.
      "We are entering a difficult day with very high risks. The weather is extremely unfavorable at the moment," authorities said. Read MoreFrench officials added that they are also fighting at least three other fires in the south of the country.This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region SDIS 33, (Departmental fire and rescue service 33) shows flames consume trees in Saint Magne, south of Bordeaux, southwestern France on Wednesday.Meanwhile, 63% of the land across the European Union and UK combined is under either drought warnings or alerts, according to the European Union's European Drought Observatory on Wednesday.
        The area affected is almost the same size as India, and greater than the three biggest US states -- Alaska, Texas and California -- combined.And new satellite imagery from the EU's climate monitoring agency Copernicus reveals a near cloudless view of western Europe as it experiences yet another extreme heat wave. In the southern UK and Netherlands, the mercury has once more climbed above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) while France and Spain face punishing temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters try to control a wildfire in Louchats, France, on July 17.Hide Caption 1 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA firefighter battles a blaze in the suburb of Pallini, east of Athens, Greece, on July 20.Hide Caption 2 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeResidents of the neighborhood of Las Llanadas, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, rush to evacuate their animals from the area on July 23. Hide Caption 3 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters spray flame retardant in Hostens, France, on July 22.Hide Caption 4 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropePolice officers and locals attempt to extinguish a wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, Greece, on July 23.Hide Caption 5 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeBurned areas are seen on Mont Saint-Michel de Brasparts in Saint-Rivoal, France, on July 22.Hide Caption 6 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeResidents of the Greek village of Vrisa wait to evacuate the area on July 24.Hide Caption 7 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighting vehicles are ablaze during a wildfire outside Brasparts, France, on July 19.Hide Caption 8 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeThis aerial photo shows burnt olive trees and fields in Megara, Greece, on July 20.Hide Caption 9 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA local resident fights a fire with a shovel in Tabara, Spain, on July 19.Hide Caption 10 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA wildfire burns atop a mountain in the northern suburbs of Athens on July 19.Hide Caption 11 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeHelicopters drop water above a fire in Avila, Spain, on July 18.Hide Caption 12 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters take a break in Catalonia, Spain, on July 17.Hide Caption 13 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA fire engine is driven through El Pont de Vilomara, Spain, on July 18.Hide Caption 14 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA wildfire burns forest near the Portuguese village of Memoria on July 12.Hide Caption 15 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeBurnt-out cars are seen in central Portugal on July 14.Hide Caption 16 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeThis aerial photo shows destruction in a residential area following a large blaze in London on July 20. Hide Caption 17 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters work in Avila on July 18.Hide Caption 18 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA firefighter and a member of Spain's Civil Guard watch a fire in Zamora, Spain, on July 18.Hide Caption 19 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeAn airplane takes part in firefighting operations in Portugal on July 14.Hide Caption 20 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeBurnt cars and trees are seen at a campsite in southwest France on July 19.Hide Caption 21 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters attempt to control a fire in the French communes of Landiras and Guillos on July 13.Hide Caption 22 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters work in Rebolo, Portugal, on July 14.Hide Caption 23 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA local resident tries to stop flames from reaching houses in Figueiras, Portugal, on July 12.Hide Caption 24 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA cloud of smoke rises from the Dune of Pilat, in the Arcachon basin of southwest France, on July 13.Hide Caption 25 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA firefighter looks on during firefighting operations in Espite, Portugal, on July 13.Hide Caption 26 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA wildfire burns through vegetation in Landiras, France, on July 13.Hide Caption 27 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropePeople rest after being evacuated from a campsite in western France on July 13.Hide Caption 28 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropePeople look at plumes of smoke caused by a wildfire in Malaga, Spain, on July 15.Hide Caption 29 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropePeople take pictures of firefighting aircraft flying over La Teste-de-Buch, France, on July 14.Hide Caption 30 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeFirefighters set a backfire to a plot of land to prevent a wildfire from spreading further in Louchats, France, on July 17.Hide Caption 31 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeResidents watch as a column of smoke emerges from a fire in A Pobra do Brollón, Spain, on July 17.Hide Caption 32 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeResidents of Alhaurín el Grande, Spain, were evacuated because of a fire in the Sierra de Mijas mountain range on July 15.Hide Caption 33 of 34 Photos: Wildfires in EuropeA firefighter tackles the flames surrounding Portugal's Ancede village on July 15.Hide Caption 34 of 34"This new heatwave is associated with a robust high-pressure figure causing cloudlessness over much of western Europe," according to Copernicus.The current heatwave is the fourth for this region since June."According to the national weather services, air temperatures between 9 and 14 August could again exceed 44°C (111.2 Fahrenheit) in Spain, 40°C (104 Fahrenheit) in France, 35°C (95 Fahrenheit) in the south of the United Kingdom and 30°C (86 Fahrenheit) in the Netherlands," Copernicus said.CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said: "Other than a few slightly cooler days in between, this heat wave is forecast to last for the next 10 days."High temperatures, low rainfall The extreme temperatures Europe is experiencing are down to a persistent build of high pressure and strong sunshine, according to Liz Bentley, chief executive at the Royal Meteorological Society. Western Europe particularly "has been struggling since the beginning of June," she told CNN Wednesday."Then you combine that with the lack of rainfall -- and for some parts of Europe there's been below average rainfall now for 15 or 16 months -- there's been a very prolonged period of dry weather and so rivers and reservoirs have got down to very, very low levels."Bentley continued: "The recent heat waves have exacerbated the problem because it further evaporates any moisture from the ground, from the rivers, from the reservoirs. It's left large swathes of Europe in drought conditions."England and France have had their driest July in decades These dry conditions and the continued sweltering temperatures have led to wildfires, which Bentley said are "not that uncommon" in Europe. But, she added, "the season started very early, and it has been much more persistent and more widespread than we would normally see."She added that the consequences of extreme heat events and drought are already being seen, for example in agriculture and farming communities.
          "It just means that we're going to see a severe drop in crop yields throughout the summer, and that then will have a knock on effect on food prices -- not just across Europe but around the world as well. On the back of the problems that's happening in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion -- it'll just exacerbate the whole problem around food prices."Bentley said the latest forecasting from the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology suggested the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. Its analysis of projections indicate that over the next couple of months, temperatures are expected to stay above average, with problems exacerbated by below average rainfall

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