Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, July 9th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. 

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.

Make it three months in a row for job gains in this country of more than 200,000 jobs added.

The Labor Department on Friday reported that American employers added 213,000 new jobs. Sectors gaining jobs in June included professional and business services, manufacturing, and healthcare, while retail jobs declined.

And that same report revised up job growth for April and May as well, to exceed the 200,000 mark for both.

HAMRICK: It surpassed expectations and is above the monthly average over the past year. So at 200,000 or more jobs added in a given month, we’re continuing to wring out the remaining slack in the job market.

Meaning that the unemployed are finding new jobs or at least they’re confident enough about finding one that they’re starting to look around.

Because they’re seeking work but haven’t landed a job yet means they’re officially counted in the government figures — and so the unemployment rate actually ticked up from 3.8 percent in May to 4 percent in June.

The increase in June makes 93 straight months of jobs growth. That’s a record in economic history , and it’s likely to exert even greater upward pressure on wages.

The one dark cloud about the report remains the trade war between the United States and China. Generally, government trade conflicts undermine business confidence because the effects are uncertain, and a loss of confidence means employers are less willing to hire.

REICHARD: On Friday, the United States launched the opening salvos in that trade war.

Just after midnight, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of imports from China. Beijing promptly retaliated with duties on an equal amount of American products. Also Friday, China filed a second complaint with the World Trade Organization over the trade war.

In a news conference, WTO spokesman Dan Pruzin lamented the dispute and the effects it’s had already.

PRUZIN: Companies are hesitating to invest. Markets are getting jittery. Some prices are rising. With further escalation, the effects would only grow in magnitude hitting jobs and growth in the countries involved and sending economic shock waves around the world.

The moves on Friday are just the first shots.

But the president has threatened to widen the conflict. He said he’s prepared to impose tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports. That figure exceeds the $506 billion in goods that China shipped to the United States last year.

EICHER: Wall Street appears already to have taken into account the trade war damage. Stocks closed broadly higher Friday, and that snapped two consecutive weekly declines for the market. Traders had already sold off in recent weeks ahead of Friday’s expected ratcheting up of trade tension.

So for the week, all the major stock indexes saw strong gains.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.5 percent.

The Dow added 0.8 percent.

The Nasdaq, a stock index of largely tech stocks, gained 2.4 percent.

Smaller companies did even better. The Russell 2000 picked up 3.1 percent.

And that’s today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 photo, a job applicant looks at job listings for the Riverside Hotel at a job fair hosted by Job News South Florida, in Sunrise, Fla. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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