July U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.9 Percent

Job seekers apply for the 300 available positions at a new Target retail store in San Francisco

The pace of job growth was below economists' predictions that about 195,000 jobs would be added last month, but the Labor Department revised employment growth even higher for May and June, meaning the three-month average for job gains is 224,000, a very healthy pace at this stage of the recovery. The economy needs to create about 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

The Labor Department released the latest jobs numbers this morning, revealing that the economy added 157,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent. The economy grew at 4.1% during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years.

Economists had expected the jobs report to show nonfarm payrolls increasing by 193,000 on net. After being at a record low a few months ago, black unemployment rose to 6.6 percent.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings increased slightly, as the tightening labor market continues to put only modest upward pressure on employee earnings.

"This [report] won't derail the Fed's plans to hike interest rates again next month".

Wages increased by 0.26%, in line with the 0.3% month-over-month increase analysts were expecting.

One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico. "For the second consecutive month, the unemployment rate for Hispanics reached a record low", the statement added.

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Job gains have averaged 215,000 so far this year, an acceleration from 2017 (182,000) and 2016 (195,000) averages.

Employers in the manufacturing sector extended a strong streak of job gains, suggesting that trade disputes hadn't yet weighed on hiring decisions in a major way.

But, as with small businesses, manufacturers are having trouble filling job openings, she said.

The labor market has accelerated as the economy expands. Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain. The consensus on Wall Street calls for the central bank to raise rates twice more this year, in September and December. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June.

Construction boosted jobs by 19,000 following a 13,000 gain.

Manufacturing gained 37,000 jobs, driven by durable-goods and transportation companies.

The slip in hiring last month may be temporary. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

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