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Headlines blared about the healthy job market on Friday as a report said employers added 272,000 new jobs in May. Those new workers surpassed economists’ predictions by thousands of jobs.

But the May report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed the unemployment rate edged up to 4% for the first time in more than two years. That ended the best sub-4% run since the height of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

That begs the question: What will Fed chief Jerome Powell and the rest of the Fed’s policymaking committee make this week of the apparently conflicting directions of the two employment numbers?

Will the Fed cut interest rates this week?

Perhaps we’ll learn more on Wednesday after the Fed committee announces its latest interest rate decision. Almost no one is predicting the Fed will cut rates, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

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Jobs, of course, are only part of the stew of economic figures the Fed will be discussing on Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ve collected figures of nine other key pieces of the economy that offer insights into its direction and what we’re feeling as consumers.

Admittedly these charts below aren’t as detailed as the reports Fed officials will be reviewing this week, but they offer interesting insights into the direction of the economy. They include the consumer price index. It’s not the Fed’s preferred view of inflation, but the May report will be released Wednesday morning and will likely be a key data point, if not a talking point throughout the day.

How is the U.S. economy doing?

Here’s quick look at the collection of most of the data we’ve collected and charted below. Besides job growth and consumer sentiment, the majority of these indicators are not suggesting strong economic growth.

What is the U.S. unemployment rate?

U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4% in May. The monthly number, which represents the percentage of people who are unemployed and looking for work, ticked up from 3.9% in April.

What the data shows: The unemployment rate is rising slowly, which could suggest employers are pulling back on hiring. Still, the rate remains well below the 10-year monthly median rate of 4.3%. The job market had been on a similar roll in 2020 before the pandemic put millions out of work.

How big is the U.S. economy?

The U.S. economy produced $22.7 trillion of goods on an inflation-adjusted annualized basis in the first quarter of 2024. That pushed up GDP by 1.3% – recently adjusted down from 1.6% – from the fourth quarter of 2023.

What the data shows: The U.S. economy is still growing, but it’s pace slowed faster than initially thought in the first quarter. Some have speculated the Fed’s interest-rate increase may be starting to weigh on businesses and consumers, but GDP was nearly cut in half in the first quarter because of Americans purchases from overseas producers.

How high is inflation?

Inflation, a sustained increase in prices throughout the economy, has been well above…



Read More: See latest inflation, jobs numbers and more

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