U.S adds 157000 jobs in July as worker wages tick up

U.S adds 157000 jobs in July as worker wages tick up

U.S adds 157000 jobs in July as worker wages tick up

"Non-farm payrolls increased by a more modest 157,000 in July but, with the gain in the preceding two months revised up by a cumulative 60,000, the labor market still appears to be in good health", said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics. Last week, the commerce department reported that GDP had grown at an annual rate of 4.1% in the second quarter, the fastest pace in almost four years.

The latest job figures follow a steady stream of hiring gains and a robust reading on economic growth.

The overall unemployment rate inched down to 3.9 percent from 4 percent the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

Friday's report showed that the closure of Toys "R" Us had an outsized impact on the employment picture in July as the economy lost 31,800 jobs from the sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores sub-industry, which in total only employs around 600,000 people. "Thus, either the unemployment rate isn't adequately capturing the true level of slack in the labor market, or wage pressures are likely to move down the pipeline sooner than later". As economic momentum continues, the labor force is still growing and unemployment is receding, resulting in a tick down in the unemployment rate and a rise in the employment-to-population ratio. Below that was outpatient care centers, adding 4,300 jobs.

One area of concern in the jobs data released this week is a marked downturn in wages. Meanwhile, the nation's labor participation rate held steady at 62.9 percent - which is exactly where it was when USA president Donald Trump took office eighteen months ago. This is a noteworthy acceleration at this advanced stage of the labor market expansion, and, if sustained, will lead to further declines in the unemployment rate. Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain.

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That was just one aspect of the good news laid out in the July jobs report.

But, as with small businesses, manufacturers are having trouble filling job openings, she said.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+26,000).

People looking for jobs at factories had a better chance of being hired last month.

Government employment fell by 13,000 jobs in July. There were declines in transport, utilities and financial payrolls last month. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

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