US Hiring Maintains Strong Pace, Jobless Rate Falls to 4.3%

Screen Shot 2017 08 03

The jobs report exceeded expectations as 209,000 jobs were created in July. A more encompassing rate that includes discouraged workers and the underemployed was unchanged at 8.6 percent.

These numbers signal that Americans are seeing reasons and motivation to jump back into the labor force to seek employment, and are actually finding jobs.

Compared with a year ago, the number of jobs has increased by 388,0000, driven by a surge in 354,000 full-time positions.

Health care, leisure and hospitality and business services led July's employment gain. Average hourly earnings for all private, nonfarm employees rose by nine cents to $26.36. July's monthly gain of 0.3 percent was the strongest since last October and annual gains, after falling earlier this year, appear to have stabilized, holding at 2.5 percent.

Last month, the economy added 231,000 jobs.

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The number of long-term unemployed-jobless for 27 weeks or more-rose slightly to 1.8 million and accounts for 25.9 percent of the unemployed.

That's well below the 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical when the unemployment rate is this low.

Trump has pledged to sharply boost economic growth and further strengthen the labor market by slashing taxes, cutting regulation and boosting infrastructure spending. Among this group, 536,000 individuals were considered discouraged-not now looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. "However, we're starting to see a trend for that particular group with modest rises in labor force participation and downward ticks in unemployment", she said. Wage growth should eventually pick up and return to more normal levels as the overall labor market improves.

Finally, it was projected that 183,000 jobs would be created over the month. Seasonally adjusted, residential construction added 1,000 jobs in the month, and is up by 36,000 jobs for the 12 months ending this past July, according to a preliminary estimate for July.

Even so, "I wouldn't underestimate the ability of job growth to remain pretty healthy and labor demand to remain solid", said Michelle Meyer, head of USA economics at Bank of America Corp.in NY. There's one school of thought that work is a substitute for school, and that kids who have to work are worse off than those who can go to school instead, Harrington said. Without wage growth significantly ahead of inflation, standards of living either stay in place or fall.

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