US employers add 157000 jobs, jobless rate hits 3.9 percent

US employers add 157000 jobs, jobless rate hits 3.9 percent

US employers add 157000 jobs, jobless rate hits 3.9 percent

Employers added 157,000 jobs last month as the U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. USA establishments added a net new 157,000 jobs, following the upwardly revised average gains in May and June of an outsized 258,000. This refutes the notion that the slower overall gain in jobs for the month reflected the impact of tariffs.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point to 3.9% in July, even as more people entered the labour force in a sign of confidence in their job prospects.

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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 jobs data released on Friday followed a report that the United States trade deficit widened in June for the first time in four months as exports fell and imports grew. 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.

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Average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $27.05. Construction gained 19,000 jobs, but retail trade only 7,000.

"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. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. The new spending follows a 60 percent jump in oil prices in the past year.

The jobless rate had risen in June from an 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May.

Transportation payrolls dropped by 1,300 jobs last month, with transit and ground transportation employment declining by 14,800 jobs. The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 193,000 jobs.

Government employment fell by 13,000 jobs in July. Service-providing sectors grew by 177,000 jobs, with health care/social assistance gaining the most with 49,000 jobs.

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