Wages up 2.7% from a year ago.
Economists estimated 190,000 new jobs in July, but the month only added 157,000. Still, that’s not bad considering unemployment went down slightly to 3.9%.
Despite not meeting expectations, the jobs report still shows a growing economy as “job creation over the past three month remains about twice as high as needed to keep unemployment trending down.” It helps that hardly anyone has faced layoffs, which obviously helps the unemployment rate.
51,000 of the jobs came from the professional and business sectors, which means those sectors have added 518,000 in the last 12 months.
37,000 jobs came from manufacturing while health care and special assistance added 34,000. The food and beverage business added 26,000 jobs.
Unemployment went down to 3.9% from 4.0% in June. People have found new jobs faster with the unemployment time averaging aaround 9.5 weeks. A year ago, unemployment time averaged 10.4 weeks.
Bloomberg noted other positives:
The employment-population ratio, another broad measure of labor- market health, rose to 60.5 percent from 60.4 percent.
Another positive sign was the U-6, or underemployment rate, which fell to 7.5 percent from 7.8 percent; the gauge includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren’t actively looking. People working part- time for economic reasons fell by 176,000 to 4.57 million.
The average workweek for all private employees decreased to 34.5 hours, from 34.6 hours. A shorter workweek has the effect of boosting average hourly pay.
Compared to a year ago, wages went up 2.7%. The hourly earnings gained 0.3% from June to $27.05 in July. The participation rate remains at 62.9%.
Analysts haven’t embraced this jobs report as much as they did with June’s report. From The Wall Street Journal:
- Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US LLP: “In our estimation, the slowing in the pace of hiring has more to do with the traditional seasonal noise and is not a signal of a change in the underlying trend growth in hiring which is closer to 224,000. We expect healthy revisions to the July gains over the next two months. While, the job gains are stout, we are growing increasingly concerned that average hourly earnings are simply not keeping up the pace of inflation.”
- Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com’s senior economic analyst: “Average hourly earnings are up 2.7% over the previous 12 months, giving us a sort of Groundhog’s Day’ feeling about wage growth. With inflation running at a roughly 2% rate, that means that there’s not a lot of financial wiggle room for many Americans even in the face of an economy that’s generally regarded to be robust.”
[Featured image via YouTube]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.