In fact, EJ Antoni, a public finance economist and Heritage Foundation research fellow, says, "It is not good at all."
Though 187,000 jobs were added in August, which was in line with expectations for the month, Antoni explains that the job market has still not returned to pre-pandemic rates.
"Just because you have something in line with the forecast doesn't mean that it's good," he tells AFN. "You could have a terrible forecast, and if the report comes in in line with the forecast, you still have a terrible report."
To add to the concerns, employment in June and July combined was 110,000 jobs fewer than previously reported.
"What's really scary is the trend that we have seen this year where every single month has been revised down," Antoni continues. "Statistically, that's darned-near impossible. We also had a massive downward revision because of the semi-annual benchmark from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)."
To put it in other terms, 59% of the jobs allegedly gained in August "were just jobs we thought we already had."
"If you want to look at it again, the entire year, including that benchmark – that's a total of 661,000 jobs we thought we had that weren't actually there," the economist details. "That's 30% of all the jobs we thought we added this year."
President Joe Biden does not appear to be concerned. Speaking at the White House after the jobs report was released on Friday, September 1, 2023, he claimed America has "the strongest economy in the world," touting "the lowest inflation rate among the major economies [and]13.5 million new jobs."
Just a day earlier, however, his own Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, noted that the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.8% in August – the highest level since February 2022. She also commented that inflation "still exists" and "remains a challenge" for Americans.
Senate Republican leadership released a report in July showing inflation has soared by 16.6% since Biden took office.