The U.S. economy added another 157,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday.
Economists had expected a nonfarm payrolls gain of 190,000 and the jobless rate to tick down to 3.9 percent.
Nonfarm payroll growth for June was revised up to 248,000 from 213,000. May’s jobs were revised to 268,000 from 244,000. So what seems to have happened is that many of the jobs that were expected in July were actually created in prior months.
Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs, with most of the gain in the durable goods component. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 327,000 jobs. Construction added 19,000 jobs and has increased by 308,000 over the year.
One reason job creation may have slower: the closing of Toys R Us. The category for toy and hobby stores fell by 32,000 workers.
Wage gains were muted. Average hourly earnings showed an annual gain of 2.7 percent and a 0.3 percent gain from the prior month. June’s wage gains, however, were revised down to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent, showing that wage gains remain very low even though the unemployment rate is very low.
The total number of employed people in the United States now stands at 157,004,000 and the labor participation rate rose to 63.5 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, the participation rate was unchanged.
The ratio of prime working age population to employment, 25-54, also improved, rising to 79.5 percent, the highest in over 10 years.
Another solid job report. Interesting stat: the prime-age (25-54 years) employment-population ratio continued to rise to 79.5%. That’s the highest it’s been since before the Great Recession.
— Julia Pollak (@juliaonjobs) August 3, 2018