US Hiring Maintains Strong Pace, Jobless Rate Falls to 4.3%

Saturday, 05 Aug, 2017

USA employers added 209,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were also increases in manufacturing and construction employment.

"Job gains were solid and broad-based, and a slight upward revision put year-to-date average monthly hiring at a healthy 184,000", Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. June's employment gain was revised up to 231,000 from the previously reported 222,000. A more encompassing rate that includes discouraged workers and the underemployed was unchanged at 8.6 percent.

In raw numbers, the United States has added 16 million net jobs over the last seven years, about twice the number of jobs lost during the recession, according Labor Department figures. With various plans afoot to reduce immigration, that moderating influence on wage growth and therefore inflation could well be set to disappear.

For those between 16 and 54, there was actually a decline in the number of people dropping out of the workforce, with the numbers picking up again for those 55 and older. The only thing hinting at an extremely slow, vulnerable recovery has been the incremental growth in wages, but fast growing corporate profits suggest that that is a distribution issue rather than any sign of fundamental economic weakness. Recall too that few seemed satisfied with the results in 2016, too.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose in July by nine cents to $26.36 per hour.

Influenced by a growing labor market, the MA unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent after June. The economy needs to create 75,000 to 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

The unemployment rate matched a post-crisis low in July. The U-3 number depends on workforce participation, which has changed dramatically since the Great Recession. Wage growth should eventually pick up and return to more normal levels as the overall labor market improves. Labor force participation has been generally range bound since 2015. The jobs report numbers that came in over the first seven months of Trump's presidency don't paint a picture of any so-called "Trump bump". We'd rather have 200K growth than 100K growth, of course, so it's better than we've seen in May and March of this year.

The dollar rose off the 30-month low it fell to against the euro after drama at the White House earlier this week, edging up 0.2 per cent, to €0.8442.

However, the buying power of workers' paychecks is 7.5 percent less than it was in 2006, as the price of goods grows faster than wages.