As widely expected, the Federal Reserve lowered its target rate for the federal-funds rate on July 31. The target range, the Fed’s primary policy lever for short-term interest rates, was cut by a quarter point to 2.00% to 2.25%. It’s the first cut in rates since late 2008, and it reverses the increase in the target range made in December.1

Employers added 164,000 jobs to the nation’s payrolls in July, down from June’s 193,000 gain. The average monthly increase so far in 2019 is 165,100 positions, down from last year’s average monthly gain of 223,300 jobs. All data are seasonally adjusted.2

The unemployment rate remained at 3.7% in July for the second consecutive month. The 3.6% rate recorded in April and May is the lowest level since December 1969.2

Read more:  Keeping Current 8-9-2019

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