July jobs report: Unemployment rate steady at 4.3%

Saskatchewan sheds 400 jobs in July pushing up the province’s unemployment rate to 6.6 per cent

July jobs report: Unemployment rate steady at 4.3%

The unemployment rate dipped down to 4.3 percent in July, approaching full employment and matching the 16-year low also seen in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Last month, restaurants and bars added 53,100 jobs.

Trump had mocked the jobs report in the years before running for the Oval Office, accusing former President Obama of manufacturing fake numbers to build support for his economic agenda.

The June jobs report showed that top-line job growth was 222,000, and employment growth was broadly distributed.

However, the number for May was revised downward to 145,000 from 152,000.

Trump once called the jobs report "totally fiction".

However, average monthly job creation so far in 2017 is 185,000, slightly below the average recorded in 2016 and well below 2015 and 2014. Wages rose 0.3% over the prior month and 2.5% over past year.

July's unemployment rate matches a 16-year low, which is good news for the US economy because it means more Americans are working and spending.

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However, some analysts stressed that United States inflation remains subdued, with one key measure showing annual growth of just 1.5 per cent in June, well below the Fed's 2 per cent target and representing a reason why the Fed may delay hikes.

"Why does job report give us more confidence about inflation", Kashkari asked in a message sent on Twitter.

The strong figure is likely to support the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates. But even by that measure, the unemployment and underemployment rate is lower than it's been in a decade, coming in at 8.6 percent, considerably less than the 10.1 percent of a year ago. Employment in the automobile sector rose by 1600 despite slowing sales and bloated inventories that have forced manufacturers to cut back on production.

"The Fed set a low bar for balance sheet normalisation to begin in September, and today's number cleared that bar with elan", said Michael Feroli, economist at JPMorgan in NY.

Full-time employment increased by 35,100 for the month while there was a decline in part-time employment of over 24,000.

The labor force participation rate remains stuck at 62.9%, although the employment-population ratio has shown a little more movement this year, rising 0.4%. Entrants to the labor market fresh from school could also cause a skew if their lower-paying jobs are created at a faster rate than others. In June their unemployment rate was 6.4 percent.

This number has gotten more attention in recent months as resident Trump's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has mentioned bringing down this figure as a particular point of emphasis for the administration. Professional and business services, which includes mostly higher-paying jobs such as engineers, accountants and architects, added 49,000.

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