Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

US Economy Adds 157K Jobs In July, Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9%

US Economy Adds 157K Jobs In July, Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9%

US establishments added a net new 157,000 jobs, following the upwardly revised average gains in May and June of an outsized 258,000.

Economists had forecast that the number of jobs created would be close to 190,000 for the month.

July marked a solid month for the USA labor market according to the US Department of Commerce's Employment Report released this morning.

The economy expanded at a 4.1 per cent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the strongest showing in almost four years.

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. It rose in June from an 18-year low of 3.8% in May.

Among the unemployed, the number of people looking for work after losing or quitting their jobs fell by almost 290,000 to 1.8 million.

"This is not a labor market in which you're going to get your wish list candidate", Wright said.

Employment by nondepository mortgage companies in June increased for the third consecutive month as seasonal hiring continued even though home resales inched down another notch. Economists were watching manufacturing closely for signs of a drag from the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions with China and allies. The only time in the recorded history the rate was lower was in the 1960s. The BLS also provides a rate that counts in people who looked for work in the past 12 months as well as people who work part-time but want a full-time job.

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

The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while painting an upbeat portrait of both the labor market and economy.

There have also been concerns that the trade tensions could dampen business confidence and lead companies to shelve spending and hiring plans. The core PCE hit the central bank's 2 percent inflation target in March for the first time since December 2011. The consensus on Wall Street calls for the central bank to raise rates twice more this year, in September and December.

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

A company representative, left, speaks with a job seeker during a United Career Fairs sales and management hiring event in Oak Brook, Ill., on July 17. As usual, ambulatory healthcare services dominated healthcare hiring with its 9,900 new jobs, although that was a 27% drop from the 13,500 jobs added in June. 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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