More Than 200,000 Jobs Created For Longest Stretch of Time Since 1997

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More than 200,000 jobs have been added each month for the past six months. Sound like a lot? It is--those kinds of numbers haven't been hit for that long of a stretch since 1997.

"Quite a milestone today in terms of the number of nonfarm payroll jobs the economy is creating. Six months in a row of big 200K or more monthly numbers. The labor market is strong," Chris Rupkey, the chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, told Business Insider.

As encouraging as this news may sound, it should probably be taken with a grain of salt. While 209,000 jobs were created in July, July found employers adding 298,000 to the job market; according to Business Insider, analysts expected this month to top out around 230,000. So in context with the past few months, July actually marks a considerable dip in job growth.

Meanwhile, unemployment has crept up to 6.2 percent, and hourly wages, expected to increase by 0.2 percent over last month, didn't budge at all. However, the unemployment rate actually dropped from 3.3 percent to 3.1 for workers with bachelor's degrees.

Labor force participation also clicked up a notch, from 62.8 percent to 62.9, and stocks bounced back after Dow futures dropped 317 points on Thursday (they're now down by around 16).

"Net net, this is a solid report that shows the economy is moving forward at a fast enough rate to put people back to work," Rupkey said. "This is not an economy still in the wake of financial crisis and recession. Six months in a row all 200K and above - the economy did not show that sort of consistency even during the housing bubble economy years 2004, 2005, and 2006."

According to the latest BLS revisions, the job gains for the past six months are as follows:
  • July: 209,000
  • June: 298,000
  • May: 229,000
  • April: 304,000
  • March: 203,000
  • February: 222,000
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