The release of the June Jobs’ Report Friday was something of a relief for the markets. The Labor Department reported that the economy gained 195,000 jobs in June, which beat economists’ expectations. The Department also reported that the economy gained 70,000 more jobs in April and May than it originally estimated. The report, however, also provides clear evidence that the the nation is splitting into two; only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don’t are finding it increasingly out of reach.
The market’s positive reaction to Friday’s report is another sign of how far our economic expectations have fallen. If today the same proportion of Americans worked as just a decade ago, there would by almost 9 million more people working. Just in the last year, almost 2 million Americans have left the labor force. With a majority of the population not holding a full-time job, it isn’t surprising that economic growth has been so weak.