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U.S. job growth slows in July, unemployment rate drops

by Reuters - 08/21/2018
"U.S. job growth slows in July, unemployment rate drops"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July as employment in the transportation and utilities sectors fell, but a drop in the unemployment rate suggested that labor market conditions continued to tighten.

With manufacturing payrolls increasing by the most in seven months, the moderation in hiring reported by the Labor Department on Friday likely does not reflect the rising trade tensions between the United States and other nations including China.
“While the ongoing trade dispute may discourage businesses to invest and hire down the road, today’s jobs report suggests the jobs market is not yet collateral damage,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global Ratings in New York.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 157,000 jobs last month, still more than the roughly 120,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The economy created 59,000 more jobs in May and June than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 190,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9 percent, even as more people entered the labor force.
A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, dropped three tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent, the lowest level since March 2001.
Wage growth remained moderate, with average hourly earnings increasing seven cents, or 0.3 percent, after a gain of 0.1 percent in June. The annual increase in wages was unchanged at 2.7 percent in July.
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