The Labor Department's July jobs report beat expectations this morning by adding 255,000 jobs in the last month. Labor force participation climbed as well, to 62.8%, from 62.7% in June.
Unemployment held steady at 4.9% on average, though rates varied for different groups:
Adult men (4.6%)
Adult women (4.3%)
Teenagers aged 16 to 19 (15.6%)
The reason jobs numbers can rise while unemployment stays the same is that unemployment measures only those people who are actively looking for work: The rise in labor participation suggests a growing number of Americans — who may have been discouraged after the recession, and stopped looking for work — are back on the market.
Another piece of good news: Full-time positions are increasingly available.
And, though it might not feel like it for some, average wages are also rising.
Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, said in an email to Mic that the "somewhat reassuring report" boded well for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, because "it is hard to construct a realistic scenario where the U.S. economy looks substantially different from now when voters head to the polls."
In other words, good news on jobs while a Democrat is in office is good for the Democratic nominee.