Jobs report may foreshadow consumer activity

The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier this week that consumer spending fell in June for the first time since 2009.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier this week that consumer spending fell in June for the first time since 2009. However, Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department may indicate a resurgence in consumer activity for July.

According to the report, the labor force added 117,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent. While the news has been received as a relief to many economists, others wonder what it means for future prospects.

Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of the overall U.S. economy. More importantly, spending tends to trail employment figures - when people have no income they aren't aching to go shopping.

"[Businesses] appear to believe they can maintain profits while adding cautiously to payrolls," Conference Board economist Kathy Bostjancic told The Washington Post. "If that is true, the labor market will slowly come back, but it's a long way back."

During the long road to recovery, businesses may want to take the time to ramp up their marketing efforts, as research strategies such as mystery shopping may give companies a leg up when competition and consumer spending return anew.