Unemployment Fell as Job Creation Slowed a Bit

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

The US economy added 157,000 jobs in July - 33,000 fewer than expected and well below the 248,000 created in June. "Both measures were down over the year, by 0.4 percentage point and 676,000, respectively", the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated.

The unemployment rate came in at 3.9%, matching expectations and below June's 4.0%. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no change in July.

The participation rate, or share of working-age people in jobs or actively looking, was unchanged at 62.9 percent.

The 0.3% analysts were expecting (would have) brought the annual rate to 2.7%. Construction added 19,000 jobs and has increased by 308,000 over the year.

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Revisions added a total of 59,000 jobs to payrolls in the previous two months, according to the figures, resulting in a three-month average gain of 224,000. Think of that. Each point-you go up one point-that doesn't sound like much; it's a lot.

Healthy consumer spending and business investment, supported by tax cuts and a bump in federal spending this year, are resulting in job gains that continue to be more than sufficient to accommodate population growth in the 10th year of the economic expansion. That said, this year's tally is still short of the totals from the first seven months of 2014 and 2015.

The jobs figures follow second quarter data last week showing the U.S. economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1%.

Companies say they are struggling to find workers, with job openings higher than the number of unemployed for the first time in decades.

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