US Economy Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected In July

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

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.

July wasn't a stellar month for hiring in the US healthcare sector, with fewer jobs added in ambulatory care, hospitals and nursing facilities compared with a month earlier.

■ The unemployment ratefell to 3.9 percent, from 4 percent.

Despite many businesses' trouble finding qualified workers, they are still hiring and looking outside traditional pools for talent.

Companies say they are struggling to find workers, with job openings higher than the number of unemployed for the first time in decades. There are about 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the nation.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent from the previous month, also matching the median estimate of economists, though that was up from 0.1 percent in June. The unemployment rate for those without a high-school diploma fell to 5.1 percent, the lowest on record.

Job growth at 157,000 in July was less robust than expected.

Wages meanwhile rose 0.3 percent for the month to an average of $27.05 an hour, putting them up 2.7 percent higher than July of a year ago - still below 2.8 percent annual inflation rate.

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The BLS figures contrast with those of payroll services firm ADP Inc., whose employment report issued August 1 stated that US private sector employment increased by 219,000 jobs in July.

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

Although the overall gain for July came in slightly below expectations, figures for payroll increases in May and June were revised substantially higher. Politically sensitive trade gaps with China, Mexico and Canada all increased, potentially setting the stage for even more sabre-rattling tweets from President Trump.

Strong demand from consumers and businesses sharply reduced the stockpiles of goods held on many store shelves and warehouses. The new spending follows a 60 percent jump in oil prices in the past year.

Economists had forecast that the number of jobs created would be nearly 190,000 for the month.

Hiring in the goods-producing sector rose by 52,000, in line with its strong recent trend, while job growth in the service-providing sector moderated to 118,000 from outsized 182,000 and 204,000 gains in June and May, respectively.

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

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