July Dazzles with Powerful Job Growth

By Toni Vranjes

August 5, 2016

Last month brought some solid employment gains, as employers created 255,000 new jobs nationwide.

The jobless rate stayed at 4.9 percent, as the labor force increased by 407,000, the Labor Department reported today. The labor force participation rate rose from 62.7 percent to 62.8 percent. On the White House blog, President Obama’s chief economist Jason Furman noted that the rate matches the one in October 2013, “despite the aging of the U.S. population putting downward pressure on the participation rate.”

Meanwhile, wages jumped by 8 cents, and job growth for the previous two months was revised upward by 18,000.

The job growth was spread among several areas – including professional and business services, which soared by 70,000 jobs. Employment in health care and financial activities also rose.

In an analysis, IHS economist Nariman Behravesh called the new data “uniformly positive and strong. Not only was the increase in payroll jobs robust, but hours worked and wages earned showed solid gains.

He added: “Perhaps the best piece of news in the July report was the strong jump in the labor force and the rise in the participation rate. This signals greater confidence among US workers about job prospects. “

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