The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9% in a jobs report that was below analysts’ expectations but still showed an economy humming along. Experts had expected job gains of 190,000 for the month.
Among the sectors adding the most positions were manufacturing with 37,000, health care and social assistance with 34,000 jobs and food services with 26,000. Construction, an industry often seen as a barometer for economic activity added 19,000 jobs for the month and has added 308,000 positions over the year.
Despite missing analysts’ expectations, the report still highlights positive economic developments. Wages continue to climb, albeit modestly. Average hourly earnings for U.S. employees rose by 7 cents to $27.05.
In another positive development, the jobs number for the two previous months – already strong months – were revised further upward. Positions for May were revised upward from +244,000 to +268,000 and June from +213,000 to +248,000.
July marked the 94th straight month of positive job growth in the U.S. The U.S. will achieve the largest expansion in its history if it can keep the current pace steady until July of 2019.
Photo by Marcin Wichary via Flickr