Saturday, 18 August, 2018

U.S. jobs growth slows more than expected in July

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July American job growth falls short of expectations in July
Kelvin Reese | 05 August, 2018, 20:09

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

"Non-farm payrolls increased by a more modest 157,000 in July but, with the gain in the preceding two months revised up by a cumulative 60,000, the labor market still appears to be in good health", said Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics.

Unemployment has fallen this year to its lowest level since 2000, and many economists predict unemployment will fall even further this year. This suggests that the trade disputes between the U.S. and China are not yet slowing down hiring in manufacturing. Despite many company executives complaining that they can not find workers to fill open positions, wage growth remains sluggish.

Among the unemployed, the number of people looking for work after losing or quitting their jobs fell by almost 290,000 to 1.8 million.

"If this was a prez [presidential election] year, these strong jobs reports would matter so much more for the elections", CNN election analyst Harry Enten said Friday on Twitter.

Average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $27.05.

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Job growth at 157,000 in July was less robust than expected. Economists forecast that employers added 191,000 jobs in July, down from 213,000 in June but easily enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Transportation equipment had the largest gains in that sector, with 13,000 new jobs, followed by machinery with 6,000 jobs.

President Donald Trump's administration has imposed duties on steel and aluminum imports, provoking retaliation by the United States' trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. That kept the annual increase in wages at 2.7% in July.

Strong demand from consumers and businesses sharply reduced the stockpiles of goods held on many store shelves and warehouses. Retail was also sluggish, with 7,000 job gains.

"While this increased employment is undoubtedly good news, job growth exacerbates the monumental manufacturing workforce shortage", she said. Service-providing sectors grew by 177,000 jobs, with health care/social assistance gaining the most with 49,000 jobs.

The U.S. labor market continues to strengthen.

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