Although labor shortage is a constant concern in the construction sector, it added 19,000 jobs in July, lifting its 2018 total so far to 170,000 (2017 total: 250,000).
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate slightly dropped from 4-percent to 3.9-percent. The nation as a whole added 157,000 jobs across all industries in July, fewer than in June when an upwardly revised 248,000 jobs were added, and in May when an upwardly revised 268,000 workers were added to payrolls.
The unemployment rate came in at 3.9%, matching expectations and below June's 4%. This suggests that the trade disputes between the United States and China are not yet slowing down hiring in manufacturing.
The somewhat disappointing result for the month obscures the very strong pace over the last three months, even as employers nationwide continue to complain about difficulty finding workers to fill open positions.
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The decline in the jobless rate reflected a 284,000 decline in the number of unemployed people in the workforce, while the number of employed increased by 389,000. Home health saw the most new hires within the ambulatory sector, adding 5,600 jobs. "I think the economy's in a really good place", Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told NPR in July.
But workers' average hourly paychecks grew tepidly from the previous month and are up just 2.7 percent compared to the same time a year ago. The economy needs to create about 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The BLS also provides a rate that counts in people who looked for work in the past 12 months as well as people who work part-time but want a full-time job.
As we move into Q3, expect this combination of job gains and moderate gains in hourly earnings to increase personal incomes that will support continued solid gains in consumer spending. Economists were watching manufacturing closely for signs of a drag from the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions with China and allies. "This is an issue not just for the USA, but in every other developed market". Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June.
He has raised starting pay roughly 10 percent in the past two years, from $60,000 to between $65,000 and $70,000. A category called other ambulatory healthcare services dropped by 1,200 jobs, and offices of other healthcare practitioners lost 900 jobs. Employment rose in transportation equipment (+13,000), machinery (+6,000), and electronic instruments (+2,000).
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