U.S. hiring slowed, with 157000 jobs added in July

05 August, 2018, 22:44 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in almost four years.

Lower-skilled workers are also benefiting from companies' demand for labor.

Martha Gimbel, director of economic research for the job board Indeed, said the job growth was "amazing".

The U.S. labor market was a mixed picture in July, but overall remains in good shape.

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Manufacturing employment continued to rise briskly, by 37,000 in July, in line with business optimism in the sector and on track to far outpace last year's 207,000 gain. But sporting goods, hobby, toy and game stores fell 32,000 - reflecting the closure in late June of all remaining USA stores in the Toys R Us chain. Over the past year, it has hired more than a half-million Americans and stands as the leading job-creating sector. That kept the annual increase in wages at 2.7% in July. Real average hourly earnings were down 0.2 percent year-over-year last month, the worst print since October of 2012. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. 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.

The average workweek for all private employees decreased to 34.5 hours, from 34.6 hours. That has puzzled Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and many economists. Typically, businesses raise wages when it's hard to find the talent they want, but annual wage growth remained at a tepid 2.7 percent, the Labor Department said.

The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components, increased 1.9 percent in June.

The slip in hiring last month may be temporary. Economists were watching manufacturing closely for signs of a drag from the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions with China and allies.

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Most of the jobs were added in the manufacturing and retail industries, with employers hiring twice as many people compared to this time past year.

He has raised starting pay roughly 10 percent in the past two years, from $60,000 to between $65,000 and $70,000.

Still, with unemployment at historically low levels and after a decade of steady job creation, employers across the United States complain of a widespread shortage of qualified labor and say they are struggling to fill open positions and being forced to offer higher compensation to attract and retain talent.

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