U.S. Job Market Shines in July

By Toni Vranjes

August 4, 2017

The job market is generating a lot of positive news. Payrolls grew by 209,000 last month, while the unemployment rate declined slightly and wages rose.

Employment growth was led by food services and drinking places, which added 53,000 jobs. Other winners were professional and business services, with 49,000 new jobs; and health care, which gained 39,000.

The unemployment rate dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent, as the labor force grew by 349,000. Meanwhile, the labor-force participation rate increased from 62.8 percent to 62.9 percent.

In addition, wages rose by 9 cents in July. Over the year, wages posted a 2.5 percent increase.

“There was lots of good news in today’s jobs report,” wrote IHS Markit Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh in an analysis. “For the past two months, payroll jobs gains have exceeded 200,000—although this pace is unlikely to be sustained. Just as important, the growth in the civilian labor force strengthened recently (especially among the all-important prime-age population), suggesting that US workers are more confident about finding jobs. Moreover, there is early evidence that wage gains may have accelerated a little over the past five months.”

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