By M. Ray Perryman, PhD, CEO and President – The Perryman Group


Outlook for the US Economy – 2nd Quarter 2023
By M. Ray Perryman, PhD, CEO and President
The Perryman Group


The United States economy gained 3,746,000 net new jobs over the twelve-month period ending June 2023 for an annual employment growth rate of 2.44%. Over the past year, the largest gains were in the educational services, health care, and social assistance industries, which added more than 1.0 million workers (a strong 4.19% increase), whereas the fastest growth in percentage terms was in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services industries, which grew at a strong 4.68% over the year (an increase of 772,400). Employment was up across the board, with all major industry groups reporting job gains from June 2022 to June 2023. The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 3.6%, which is indicative of a tight labor market.

Recent jobs reports have shown some slowing, but moderate hiring nonetheless. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in June, led by gains in government, health care, social assistance, and construction. The increase was below the average through the first six months of this year (278,000 per month) and well under the 2022 rate of 399,000 per month (which was largely fueled by readjustments after COVID-19). The labor market has proven to be resilient, and there are currently about 9.8 million job openings. Shortages remain an issue in some industries and geographic areas, and wages have been rising. 

Inflation/Interest Rates

Recent data related to inflation was promising, and there is hope that the pressure is easing for rapid price increases. However, one reason the recent datapoint is lower than it has been in a while is that inflation is a year-over-year comparison, and last summer’s rates were very high. In addition, it will take time to see whether the recent estimate is the beginning of a favorable trend. Even so, the news on the inflation front is improving.

The Federal Reserve will continue to balance its dual mandates of maximizing employment growth while keeping inflation at reasonable levels. It appears likely that there will be additional increases this year given continued job and wage gains and other signs of economic growth and lingering inflation, but the need for such actions should diminish in the coming months. With many households, industries, and firms dealing with fallout from higher interest rates (such as banks and potential borrowers), the challenges of attaining a “soft landing” remain.


The US economy continues to expand despite challenges. Geopolitical tensions remain an issue, with ongoing conflicts in several areas. If any of these situations escalate markedly, the resulting uncertainty will slow growth. Growth through 2023 is projected to be lower than in the recent past, with improvement next year. The Perryman Group’s most recent projections indicate real gross product is expected to expand by +1.86% this year on a year-over-year basis, with +2.43% growth in 2024. Job gains are projected to be almost 2.6 million through 2023, with an increase of nearly 2.4 million jobs next year.

About Dr. M. Ray Perryman and the Perryman Group

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group ( He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.