Today's better-than-expected jobs report has left the country's econ-observers relieved but unsatisfied about the glacial pace of the nation's economic recovery. Following a 500-point drop in the Dow yesterday, it was one of the most anticipated jobs reports in recent memory (crashing the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics). News that employers added 117,000 jobs in July and that the unemployment rate dipped a notch to 9.1 percent coincided with the Dow rising 165 points and subsequently whipsawing back down. Here's how market observers are reacting:
It puts out the fire from yesterday “This may go some way to helping stabilize market sentiment,” James Knightley, an economist at ING, tells The New York Times following the report. The chief economist at IHS Global Insight adds "It gives us some temporary relief. But all we can say is it’s a bit better than the two previous months. I suspect, though, that relief will probably not last too long as people refocus on what they think will happen in the future"
But double-dip fears are here to stay, says David Chalian at PBS News Hour: "The July number is far better than the anemic 18,000 created in June, but still not enough to keep up with population growth and clearly not robust enough to make a significant dent in the sky-high unemployment rate. Don't expect that talk about a possible double-dip recession to dissipate entirely based on this one report."
Still a long road to recovery, writes AP economics writer Christopher Rugaber: "The economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009."
The positive news should not prevent action from being taken, writes Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly. "We’re still in the midst of a jobs crisis, and while many of us were relieved by the July numbers, they’re not even close to where we need to be." Outgoing White House economist Austan Goolsbee echoed similar thoughts. "While the better-than-expected report is welcome news, the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn," he said on the White House blog. "Bipartisan action is needed to help the private sector and the economy grow."
Either way, it's good news for Obama, writes CNN Money's Jennifer Liberto. "Employers added 117,000 jobs last month, above the 46,000 jobs added in June, and easily topping the 75,000 gain predicted by economists surveyed by CNNMoney," she writes. "With each passing month of continued high unemployment, the stakes grow for President Obama's re-election bid. But a spurt in hiring could make things easier for the president, who is coming off a tough week in Washington, having eked out a last-minute deal with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling while cutting spending."