USA job growth slows in July, unemployment rate dips

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That was fewer jobs than the consensus estimate, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised its June numbers, adding 30,000 new jobs to that month's total.

The biggest job gains came in the business and professional services sector, which added 51,000 new jobs during the month.

Employers added 157,000 net new positions last month, with slower gains in auto manufacturing, transportation and mining, while the jobless rate fell a tenth to 3.9 percent, according to the closely-watched monthly Labor Department report.

The economy expanded at a 4.1 per cent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the strongest showing in almost four years.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly in July, while job gains were lower than many analysts predicted. After being at a record low a few months ago, black unemployment rose to 6.6 percent.

Overall, there were almost 5.5 million people in July who wanted a job but weren't counted as unemployed, which is a drop from over 5.7 million a year ago.

Like weather forecasters predicting sunny skies in Southern California, economists have watched the labor market produce consistent monthly increases in hiring recently.

The overall recent surge of job gains may reflect, in part, confidence among some businesses that the Trump administration's tax cuts will accelerate growth - even though a growing roster of economic experts disagree with that assumption.

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One signal that July was a strong month can be found in the low number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time.

United States employment has risen for 94 consecutive months, the longest jobs-expansion streak on record.

"Small business owners are continuing to show that they're looking to hire and willing to pay more to hire the right employees", NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg said.

One weak spot for economy, however, is the housing market.

The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components, increased 1.9 percent in June.

"Price hikes tied to tariffs are likely to exacerbate that dynamic in the third quarter, which will leave the Federal Reserve raising rates without the wage gains that usually accompany inflation", she said. July's slowdown in hiring reflected a loss of 10,800 education services jobs. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June.

Last month, the manufacturing sector added 37,000 jobs. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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