U.S. Jobs & Labor Report: August 2022

Report summary

The U.S. labor market remains strong, but its best days may now be behind it. After workers’ moods soured in June, Morning Consult’s lost pay and income tracker began to show an uptick in pay losses in July. To an extent, a slowdown in job growth and an increase in pay losses was inevitable this far into the recovery. However, with elevated inflation prompting the Federal Reserve to aggressively raise interest rates, businesses are now pulling back on hiring and expansion plans, which will release the steam from a red-hot labor market.

Key Takeaways

  • The share of U.S. adults experiencing lost pay rose from 11.0% in June to 11.7% in July.
  • Fewer workers are looking to switch jobs. In July, the share of employed U.S. adults actively looking for work fell again, continuing a trend that began in March
  • The fate of the economy hinges on inflation. Rapidly rising prices have undermined consumer confidence far more than a strong labor market has bolstered it in 2022, presenting headwinds to consumer spending.

About the authors

A headshot photograph of John Leer
John Leer
Chief Economist

John Leer leads Morning Consult’s global economic research, overseeing the company’s economic data collection, validation and analysis. He is an authority on the effects of consumer preferences, expectations and experiences on purchasing patterns, prices and employment.

John continues to advance scholarship in the field of economics, recently partnering with researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to design a new approach to measuring consumers’ inflation expectations.

This novel approach, now known as the Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations measure, leverages Morning Consult’s high-frequency survey data to capture unique insights into consumers’ expectations for future inflation.

Prior to Morning Consult, John worked for Promontory Financial Group, offering strategic solutions to financial services firms on matters including credit risk modeling and management, corporate governance, and compliance risk management.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy with honors from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in economics and management studies (MEMS) from Humboldt University in Berlin. 

His analysis has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Economist and more.

Follow him on Twitter @JohnCLeer. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]

A headshot photograph of Jesse Wheeler
Jesse Wheeler
Senior Economist

Jesse Wheeler previously worked at Morning Consult as a senior economist.