American job growth falls short of expectations in July

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

USA employers slowed their hiring in July, adding 157,000 jobs, a solid gain but below the healthy pace they maintained in the first half of this year.

"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. Hiring in dentists' offices was relatively flat, adding only 200 jobs last month. Many business leaders have warned that the standoffs with China, the European Union and other major trading partners could cause layoffs if tariffs stay in place for an extended period of time.

Economists had forecast that the number of jobs created would be close to 190,000 for the month. "'Help Wanted' is still the most prevalent signage you'll see in an industrial park". As usual, ambulatory healthcare services dominated healthcare hiring with its 9,900 new jobs, although that was a 27% drop from the 13,500 jobs added in June.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in July and has risen by 518,000 over the year.

The smaller job gain likely reflected some one-time factors, analysts said. Over the year, the industry has added 203,000 jobs.

Since the beginning of this year, the US has seen multiple economic milestones in addition to 1.5 million new jobs.

Companies say they are struggling to find workers, with job openings higher than the number of unemployed for the first time in decades. Typically, businesses raise wages when it's hard to find the talent they want, but annual wage growth remained at a tepid 2.7 percent, the Labor Department said.

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One area of concern in the jobs data released this week is a marked downturn in wages.

There was also healthy job creation in the health care and social services sector, which increased its payrolls by 34,000.

The unemployment rate came in at 3.9%, matching expectations and below June's 4%.

That was just slightly higher than 3.8 percent, the 18-year low the nation reached in May. It ticked up to 6.6% from 6.5% for African-Americans after hitting a record low in May but fell to 3.4% for whites, its lowest since 2000.

The last time the USA economy had such low unemployment in the late 1990s, wage growth was substantially higher. Our research shows that wage and salary growth, and the EP ratio for the prime working-age cohort, are closely correlated, pointing toward further gains in wage growth.

The Trump administration cheered the jobs numbers on Friday as a sign its economic policies are continuing to boost growth and hiring. "Nearly 3.9 million new jobs have been created since President Trump took office, owed to the tax cuts, the deregulation and the push for better trade deals".

Homebuyers are encountering higher mortgage rates, one reason that the housing market has been faltering lately even as other economic indicators like hiring have remained strong, as evidenced by the upward revisions for May and June.

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