That, in addition to continued improvement in wage growth, puts a Fed rate hike back on the table for 2016. This is somewhat of a turnaround from a few months ago, when see-saw monthly job gains and an unexpected Brexit vote created considerable uncertainty.
The good news comes on a particularly crucial jobs day, as it is the second to last report before the Fed's September meeting. Several indicators make a rate hike very possible before the end of the year.
This month's report marks yet another in a long string of overall positive news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market has now notched 70 consecutive months of job gains, as the last negative number came in September of 2010.
What's more, over the past year the labor market has averaged just over 200,000 in monthly job gains. In more recent news, revisions to the past two months, which include June's dismal report, boosted today's strong number with an additional 18,000 in recent job gains.
Digging deeper into the report, wage growth is showing promise with an increase to 2.6% year-over-year. While not all the way back to wage growth numbers before the recession, this is encouraging progress considering wage growth has consistently clocked in below 2.5% since the Great Recession.
But while today's report showed short-term strength, both for July and in the revisions, we at Indeed.com, the jobs platform where I am chief economist, continue to have long term concerns about the polarization of the job market, and lack of strong, middle-income jobs to sustain long-term growth.
Today's report, like many before it, showed little change for key middle-income areas such as construction, manufacturing, and trade. Meanwhile, we continue to see an uptick in hospitality and services, which is generally lower-paying work.
We were heartened to see growth in some areas with good opportunity for workers, including business and financial services, and the higher-paying areas of healthcare. But even with these gains, our research shows there continues to be a minority of people in jobs offering wages that keep up with inflation and offer a high annual salary.
Long-term labor market concerns aside, economists will be on watch over the next month for further good news from labor market indicators before the next jobs report in early September. At that point the Fed will have all of the available information as it convenes to make one of its final decisions on interest rates before the close of the year.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor.