From The Washington Post:
The U.S. labor market is expected to continue to rebound from a weak spring, with the government slated to release fresh data Friday morning that analysts believe will show the economy added a solid 180,000 jobs in July.
The number would offer some reassurance that the recovery has momentum despite a dramatic drop-off in hiring earlier this year and surprisingly slow growth in the broader economy. In addition, the unemployment rate is expected to tick down from 4.9 percent to 4.8 percent.
Over the past seven years, the jobless rate has fallen by more than half since the peak of 10 percent following the Great Recession. Many economists have begun to wonder whether the unemployment rate can fall much further. In addition, analysts have cautioned that job growth will probably slow as businesses fill available positions.
“The underlying trend has therefore been somewhat hard to discern, but appears to have softened a little this year,” Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle wrote in a note to clients before the data was released.
But the recovery’s repeated stumbles have belied the strength in the labor market. Growth clocked in at a disappointing 1.2 percent during the second quarter, just faster than the stall registered over the winter. The United States may have stood firm in the face of turmoil emanating from China and uncertainty surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, but the recovery has yet to take off.
The lackluster economy has been a key issue on the presidential campaign trail, with populist frustration over stagnant wage growth and the slow grind of the recovery fueling support for unconventional candidates such as Republican nominee <a …