US Economy Adds 157K Jobs In July, Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9%
05 August, 2018, 20:12 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
This suggests that the trade disputes between the USA and China are not yet slowing down hiring in manufacturing. Typically, when unemployment has fallen below 4 per cent in the past, wages have increased at a faster pace. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. These employment gains were offset by a decline of 32,000 in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores, reflecting job losses in hobby, toy, and game stores. Average hourly earnings rose by seven cents to $27.05, the bureau report said. Wages have remained in a holding pattern below the highs of the last expansion, despite persistent complaints from employers that they're struggling to find skilled workers and job openings near a record high. (With revisions, it was 224,000, compared with 184,000 in the same period last year and 181,000 in 2016.) "It is incredible that at this point in a recovery you are seeing growth that is on average faster than the previous two years", she said.
Friday's report also included a revision to prior jobs reports, which now suggests the economy added 248,000 jobs in June, up from an initial report showing 213,000 new jobs were added to the economy. The Federal Reserve is closely watching the wages component as it seeks to meet its 2 percent inflation target. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June. The July gain is the 93rd consecutive month of job growth.
There have also been concerns that the trade tensions could dampen business confidence and lead companies to shelve spending and hiring plans.
Government employment fell by 13,000 jobs in July. Gains were seen in professional and business services, manufacturing, healthcare, and social assistance.
After remaining elevated for years after the Great Recession, the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen almost 13 percent in the past year and now stands at 4.6 million.
The US labour force participation rate (the share of the population 16 years and older either working or seeking work), which peaked at 67.1 percent in 2000, remained unchanged from the previous month at 62.9 percent.
"We've continued to add jobs routinely every month for so long, and the unemployment rate we have reached is fantastic", said Catherine Barrera, chief economist of the online job site ZipRecruiter.
But the unemployment rate is an incomplete indicator, as it excludes people who didn't look for work in the past four weeks.
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