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Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:56 AM

The U.S. job market is still in very bad shape. Just wait until the fiscal time bomb goes off.

The U.S. economy added 4.8 million payroll jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. Thatís terrific news for those newly hired, but there are at least three reasons for the rest of us to hold off on popping the champagne.

First, even with these gains, U.S. payrolls are still deeply in the hole. Second, these official government numbers are based on a snapshot from mid-June, and more recent data suggest the recovery has either stalled or deteriorated since then. And, third, a major fiscal time bomb is about to detonate.

Letís start with the jobs hole.

You may have a sense that things are still quite bad, given that the unemployment rate remains higher than it ever was during the Great Recession. To help visualize just how far in the red the country is, take a gander at the Scariest Jobs Chart Youíll See All Day. It plots the trajectory of job changes in this recession alongside those from previous postwar downturns (and subsequent recoveries).


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