The economy added 164,000 jobs in July while unemployment held steady at 3.7%. Annual wage growth went up to 3.2%.

Overall the report satisfied analysts and economists since it almost fell in line with expectations. It shows a healthy economy despite a slight slowdown.

Economists told The Wall Street Journal they expected the report to show 165,000 new jobs along with an unemployment rate of 3.6% and 3.1% annual wage growth.

The broader measure of unemployment went down as well:

A broader measure of unemployment and underemployment—which includes those too discouraged to look for work, plus Americans stuck in part-time jobs but who want to work full-time—fell to 7.0% in July from 7.2% in June. That rate, known as the U-6, remains slightly elevated from a record low of 6.8% touched in 2000.

ALL groups saw a decrease in unemployment in July. The rate for Hispanic women went down to 3.8% from 4.2% in June.

The job market has improved for those who do not have a high school diploma. This unemployment rate ticked down to 5.1%.

Economists predicted a 3.6% unemployment rate, “but an influx of 370,000 new workers to the labor force brought the participation rate up to 63%, its highest since March.”

Service sectors helped prop up the jobs report, mainly in education and health services. The professional and business services also provided a boost.

Mining, retail, and information companies lost jobs in July.

Manufacturing went up as that sector “added the most in six months.” Construction only added 4,000 jobs, which may come as a surprise since this time of the year provides the best time to build.

Hourly earnings went up by 8 cents to $27.98. Overall, wages have increased by 3.2% from this time last year.

Wage growth, even with a slow buildup, illustrates that employers have to entice people to take jobs since the market has started to slim down. More jobs mean fewer people looking for jobs.

The report even had MSNBC admit the latest jobs report presents a stellar picture of the economy.


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