Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The U.S. economy continued to trudge through a difficult fiscal quarter as the economy created 163,000 private-sector jobs in July. The number was the best since February, but the economy’s job creation pace is essentially flat since 2011.
In addition to the jobs numbers, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percent to 8.3 percent in July.
The jobs numbers are campaign fodder for both President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. For Obama, his campaign claims its proof of a steady, albeit slow, recovery from the Great Recession. For Romney, it allows him to pound the president that the unemployment rate continues to be over 8 percent, despite the stimulus and other jobs ideas.
Still, investors were very pleased with the numbers as stocks on both the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ soared Friday morning. As of noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 240 points and the NASDAQ was up more than 63 points.
Additional information in the report found that wages over the last year have been matching the rate of inflation, which combined with the jobs numbers, prompted the Federal Reserve to hold off on taking any immediate action to stimulate the economy.
But, things are nowhere near complete recovery.
Europe’s financial crisis is hurting U.S. exports; the “fiscal cliff” that faces the United States at the end of the year is unsolved; Congress is hopelessly gridlocked at present; and the country is still teetering on the edge of a recession while trying to come out of the Great Recession.
Consumers have taken heed of how businesses are hording cash and have begun doing the same, according to the latest Labor Department numbers. However, much like when businesses sit on trillions of dollars instead of investing in jobs; when consumers conserve money it cripples the U.S.’ economy.