Employment overall lags, while trucking adds 4400 jobs in July

05 August, 2018, 20:09 | Author: Lora Ball
  • US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the past two months upward by 59,000 to 248,000 jobs in June and 268,000 in May.

And the underemployment rate - which includes discouraged workers no longer searching for work, as well as involuntary part-time workers - dropped to 7.5 percent, the lowest in 17 years, from 7.8 percent.

Manufacturing employment continued to rise briskly, by 37,000 in July, in line with business optimism in the sector and on track to far outpace last year's 207,000 gain.

The jobless rate unexpectedly climbed to 4 percent in June - up from 3.8 per cent in May, the lowest level since 2000 - mainly because more people were actively looking for work.

Overall, there were almost 5.5 million people in July who wanted a job but weren't counted as unemployed, which is a drop from over 5.7 million a year ago.

At this stage in a record stretch of job growth that began in 2010, however, all eyes are on wages because they've been much slower to recover from the Great Recession.

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Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent from the previous month, also matching the median estimate of economists, though that was up from 0.1 percent in June. The Federal Reserve is closely watching the wages component as it seeks to meet its 2 percent inflation target.

The employment picture's been pretty rosy lately, with average job growth above 200,000 a month since mid-spring and more people coming back into the labor market. The monthly increase in wages was an improvement from June's 0.1% increase.

The new figures show the labor market was not largely affected by the current trade war.

That means the economy is still producing strong payroll gains, averaging 215,000 net new jobs a month, the best since 2015. (With revisions, it was 224,000, compared with 184,000 in the same period last year and 181,000 in 2016.) "It is unbelievable that at this point in a recovery you are seeing growth that is on average faster than the previous two years", she said. Economists were watching manufacturing closely for signs of a drag from the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions with China and allies. Year-on-year growth was unchanged at 2.7%.

Strong demand from consumers and businesses sharply reduced the stockpiles of goods held on many store shelves and warehouses.

Government employment fell by 13,000 jobs in July.

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