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July jobs report shows shrinking slack

chart depicting part-time and long-term unemployed workers from Jan 2000 to jul 2019

The U.S. employment market continues to show exceptional strength–with 164,000 new jobs added to the economy, July marked the 106th consecutive month of job growth. This is the longest stretch of job growth by far, more than double the previous record of 48 months between 1986 and 1990.

More evidence of the employment market’s underlying strength can be seen in the report’s details. Notably, the number of part-time workers for economic reasons (those who want full-time work but currently work up to 34 hours per week) saw a steep drop in July and currently sits at cycle lows.

Moreover, the rate of long-term unemployed (more than 27 weeks) also reached a cycle low in July and is now below the long-term average (going back to 1960.) Both employment market barometers are now at less than half the level from 2013, showing that the slack in the workforce is shrinking.

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