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August jobs numbers are lower than July, but economists say jobs market is still strong

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 315,000 jobs were added in August compared to 526,000 in July.

MINNEAPOLIS — As we head into this Labor Day weekend, let's talk about our labor market.

The newest jobs numbers came out Friday, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 315,000 jobs in August.

That number is quite a bit lower than the July number of 526,000 new jobs, but some economists say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

"You know I think these numbers today are generally a good sign that the economy is still able to add jobs while we try to bring that inflation down,” Minnesota DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said.

Grove says in this topsy-turvy economy, everyone is looking for some balance and normalcy. That's why these latest jobs numbers may actually be better than they look.

Some economists argue the 315,000 jobs added in August is closer to the “normal” rate, which is somewhere around 200,000 to 300,000 jobs. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently said the labor market is "clearly out of balance."

"You don't want to see job growth suddenly vanish and that will somehow ‘right the ship.’ You want to see it gradually level and taper a bit as you see inflation come down, which is ultimately the goal in all of this,” Grove said.

Some economists believe that the feds could look at these jobs numbers and see a strong signal that their approach to lower inflation is working, because the jobs market is starting to come back down to normal.

Later this month, the feds will announce another interest rate hike, which some economists say could be lower now thanks to these jobs numbers.

"Obviously the fed is trying to navigate a soft landing for our economy and bringing that inflation down without crashing the economy or pushing us into recession," Grove said.

However, the fear of a recession continues, with economists arguing whether or not we're in one already. 

Grove says if we are now, or will be in a recession down the road, he feels Minnesota is in a better position than most other states.

"One of the things about Minnesota's economy is we're very diverse," he said. "So, we have a lot of different industries in our state and that helps us weather the more challenging economic times."

Grove says the August jobs numbers here in Minnesota won't come out for a few weeks yet, but in July, Minnesota added 20,000 jobs, which he says was a great number and the unemployment rate was the lowest in the entire country.

So, there's reason to be optimistic for the future, but he warns a lot can change in a month, so we'll have to wait and see.

"You know, I'm not doom and gloom on the future here," Grove said. "I think Minnesota has got a strong possibility for growth."

The feds are also anxious to see another set of numbers, the Consumer Price Index.

Those numbers will come out in a few weeks and could impact what the feds decide to do later this month.

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