Two Numbers That Janet Yellen Is Going To Like

Americans Are Working Longer Hours and It's Paying Off

This morning's jobs release was one of the more 'in line' reports we've seen in some time. The unemployment rate stayed at 5.3 percent in July, as expected. The month also saw 215,000 new jobs added, which was just a tad shy of estimates. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent, which was again right in line with expectations. But there was some good news hidden beneath the hood. U-6, which is a broader measure of unemployment that captures discouraged workers and workers who are part-time for economic reasons, came down to its lowest level since the crisis. And the average length of the work week ticked higher to match its highest level since the crisis. So while this wasn't a lights-out report, the trend is the same: The labor market keeps healing and labor market slack keeps going away. That's exactly what Janet Yellen wants to see before she raises rates.

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