Hicks: Employment Report Brings 'Encouraging News'

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Dr. Michael Hicks Dr. Michael Hicks
MUNCIE -

The director of Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research says July's national jobs numbers, indicating 209,000 jobs created, offer an encouraging assessment of the U.S. labor market. Mike Hicks says, while the unemployment rate remains at 4.3 percent, the labor force and wages grew.

Hicks says, overall, the July numbers offer a more solid assessment of the labor market than June's data did. He says top-line job growth of 205,000 jobs is well above the replacement rate. He adds that labor force growth was "very strong," estimating 300,000 idle workers began again to look for employment.

"Both wages and overtime hours grew, with wage growth nearly double the inflation rate," says Hicks. "It is too early to say, but wage growth, labor force growth and strong growth in overtime may signal a period of more lasting wage growth."

Indiana's unemployment rate came in at 3 percent in June, the same as it was in May. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state added more than 10,000 private sector jobs in June.

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