Unemployment Drops to 4.3% After 82 Weeks of Job Growth
August 04, 2017
Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, while hourly wages increased by 2.5%. The Senate also approved a right-to-try bill for unapproved healthcare options. Brexit also appears to be affecting GDP growth estimates for the UK.
- Senate approves right-to-try bill healthcare bill. The Senate, unable to agree on healthcare reform, unanimously approved a healthcare law Thursday that would allow very sick patients to request access from drug companies for experimental drugs that have not yet been approved by the FDA. While the law’s impact is limited, as 37 states have similar laws already, the FDA already has a compassion process that allows patients to make these requests. While the drug companies still have the final word, the law makes it easier for patients to access experimental treatments. While most of the medical and medical-ethics lobbying groups were against the bill, their low key disagreement provided very little political cover for a no vote. The House will see the bill after the summer recess. [Politico]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. employers add 209,000 jobs, unemployment at 4.3%. US job growth beat estimates, at 209,000 jobs added in July, according to Labor department data released today. This is the 82nd straight month of job growth, the longest on record. While hourly pay also rose, 2.5% year over year, gains from the economic recovery have been uneven across industries. Where healthcare and information services jobs have gained, manufacturing and retail jobs have slipped. [Bloomberg]
- In the wake of Brexit, BoE downgrades UK GDP estimates. The Bank of England has revised GDP estimates from 1.9% to 1.7% growth for thus year. While the EU and the US are both seeing GDP growth hovering around 2%, England will have to contend with the results of the consequential Brexit vote from this past year. Employers are declining to raise wages, and with lower GDP growth, the possibility of a rate increase seems less likely. Uncertainty over post-Brexit trade agreements and the plummet in the British pound has contributed to slow growth. However, the central bank still sent a hawkish message in its most recent meeting, indicating that rate increases could come sooner than expected. [Independent]