Adds 157,000 jobs in July; unemployment rate at 3.9%

Donald Trump

Unemployment Fell as Job Creation Slowed a Bit The Associated Press 3 Aug 2018

The U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs in July, bringing the unemployment rate to 3.9 percent. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the past two months upward by 59,000 to 248,000 jobs in June and 268,000 in May. In May, the unemployment rate hit an 18-year low of 3.8%.

White unemployment also dropped in July-to 3.4 percent-a rate unseen since the Yankees and Mets faced off in the World Series finale (October 2000).

She'll be overseeing the National Council for the American Worker, a cross-department body launched in July by President Trump to help train and retrain Americans for the available jobs. In June, there was a surge in the number of people re-entering the labor force, while the number of those who gave up on their job searches fell.

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The jobs figures follow second quarter data last week showing the United States economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1%. While the data mark a solid start to the quarter and should keep the Fed on track for an interest-rate hike in September, a widening trade war threatens to curb growth in the labor market.

A quirk in the calendar may explain why average hourly wages inched up only 7 cents from June to July, explained Josh Wright, chief economist at software firm iCIMS: The Labor Department surveys employers at a different time than when companies pay their workers. Construction gained 19,000 jobs, but retail trade only 7,000. The U.S. central bank said "the labor market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has been rising at a strong rate". "@POTUS is keeping his promise to restore our economy and put Americans back to work", said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in an August 3 tweet.

Job gains were seen in the durable goods manufacturing and health care sectors as well as in restaurants and bars.

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Although June typically is a busy month for home sales, purchases of pre-owned homes declined due to factors that include limited inventory, higher year-over-year mortgage rates and increases in home prices that outpaced wage growth.

Excluding those factors, hiring in July would have been closer to the monthly average this year.

At this stage in a record stretch of job growth that began in 2010, however, all eyes are on wages because they've been much slower to recover from the Great Recession.

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Sectors that didn't fare as well included financial services, government and transportation, all of which lost jobs.

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