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United States jobs report: July disappoints with only 157,000 jobs added

05 August, 2018, 22:43 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

While the overall unemployment rate continues to bounce around 4%, the broadest measure of unemployment just fell to a new low in this recovery.

Martha Gimbel, director of economic research for the job board Indeed, said the job growth was "amazing". "This is an issue not just for the US, but in every other developed market". Transportation, mining and financial services did not hire much in July.

Wall Street finished higher despite the disappointing jobs report, which coincided with a surprising leap in the trade deficit.

Employment by nondepository mortgage companies in June increased for the third consecutive month as seasonal hiring continued even though home resales inched down another notch.

But paychecks grew only slightly - up 2.7 percent compared to the same time a year ago.

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After remaining elevated for years after the Great Recession, the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen almost 13 percent in the past year and now stands at 4.6 million. The Fed is unlikely to accelerate its rate hike plan if wages growth remains stagnant.

Despite the attention given to the "retail apocalypse", retailers have actually added 96,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Leisure and hospitality was a main contributor with 40,000 jobs, while health care and social assistance added 33,500 and professional and business services added 51,000 - including about 28,000 in temporary help, the most in more than a year.

The average workweek for all private employees decreased to 34.5 hours, from 34.6 hours. The Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates two more times this year and several times next year.

"House price appreciation has exceeded wage growth for six years, so any signal that wage growth may be closing the gap is good news", said Fleming. Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain. Initial jobless claims were near a 50-year low in the week the BLS conducted its survey for the jobs report, and haven't added up to more than 300,000 since March 2015. Yet auto fix work requires more technical skills than the past because of the increasing concentration of computers and electronics in newer cars.

Still, with unemployment at historically low levels and after a decade of steady job creation, employers across the United States complain of a widespread shortage of qualified labor and say they are struggling to fill open positions and being forced to offer higher compensation to attract and retain talent.

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