Thursday, 18 October, 2018

July Jobs Report: Payrolls Rise 157,000 and Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9%

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Scott Davis | 05 August, 2018, 22:41

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the U.S gained 157,000 jobs in July.

"The basic story of the labor market has been a slow and steady recovery of month after month of impressive jobs gains", said Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute.

US hiring cooled in July after more-robust gains than previously reported, while the unemployment rate slipped back below 4 percent and wage increases remained subdued, reinforcing a picture of steady labor-market growth in line with the Federal Reserve's outlook for gradual interest-rate hikes. The economy grew at 4.1% during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years. But in June, Minnesota's unemployment rate was below the national average at 3.1 percent.

Friday's report showed that the closure of Toys "R" Us had an outsized impact on the employment picture in July as the economy lost 31,800 jobs from the sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores sub-industry, which in total only employs around 600,000 people.




The U.S. labor market continues to strengthen. Over the month, employment edged up in temporary help services (+28,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Economists were watching manufacturing closely for signs of a drag from the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions with China and allies. Monthly payroll gains of around 100,000 or even as low as 80,000 are seen as sufficient to push down the unemployment rate over time. The job gains in June were revised higher.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while painting an upbeat portrait of both the labor market and economy. Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain.

Hiring sizzled in July in business services, manufacturing and hospitality. In the last 12 months, factories have added 327,000 jobs.

Following this report stock futures remained lower, but had little reaction to the jobs report itself. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June. Utilities employment fell for a third straight month and the finance and insurance industry shed 9,400 jobs last month. "America is working, the July employment numbers confirm that those who have been left behind over the past two decades are beginning to find their places in their search for the American dream". The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect those of Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

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