July jobs report, August 2018

05 August, 2018, 20:11 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in July	 	 	 			Unemployment stands at 4% close to an 18-year low

Employers pulled back on hiring in July, but the job gains were still enough to lower the USA unemployment rate a tick to 3.9 percent from 4 percent. The nation as a whole added 157,000 jobs across all industries in July, fewer than in June when an upwardly revised 248,000 jobs were added, and in May when an upwardly revised 268,000 workers were added to payrolls.

Thirty-seven percent of responding small business owners said they had job openings they could not fill, the highest number since the Monthly Jobs Report began, the NFIB said August 2. If the jobless rate drops to 3.7 percent or below, it would be the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.

Unemployment as a measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding jobs part-time for economic reasons, also declined to 7.9% from 8.1%. 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. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million in July. But a $1.5 trillion fiscal stimulus, which helped to power the economy to a 4.1 percent annualized growth pace in the second quarter, is assisting the United States in navigating the stormy trade waters.

The U.S. labor market was a mixed picture in July, but overall remains in good shape.

"The important point is that there is no sign of overheating but that aggregate wages and salaries (jobs x hours x earnings) are growing at a brisk pace", Neil Dutta, the head of USA economics at Renaissance Macro, said in a note. Retail was also sluggish, with 7,000 job gains.

Like weather forecasters predicting sunny skies in Southern California, economists have watched the labor market produce consistent monthly increases in hiring recently. Some envision the unemployment rate dropping as low as 3.5 percent by the end of 2018. This suggests that the trade disputes between the U.S. and China are not yet slowing down hiring in manufacturing. That kept the annual increase in wages at 2.7% in July. Mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and financial activities remained mostly flat, the BLS said. Local governments cut 20,000 jobs, the most in more than two years. Service-providing sectors grew by 177,000 jobs, with health care/social assistance gaining the most with 49,000 jobs.

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