There is no way to sugar coat today’s employment numbers. Job creation in June came in at about 1/10th the expectation, with only 18,000 Americans on net finding jobs in June. Downward revisions to the past suggest that the meager job creation experienced so far during this recovery has stalled. The odds of dropping into a recession from here will begin to be the conversation, and the bears will have a field day. A budget deal with genuine tax reform may be the only thing that can save us from the double dip that is faintly visible in the data.
— Kevin A. Hassett is director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.