US job growth slows in July, unemployment rate drops

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

The additional signs of strength in the job market could add to concerns the Federal Reserve would move to raise the key lending rate more aggressively.

Mocuta added that the dip in the unemployment rate without any corresponding upward pressure on wages suggested more slack in the labor market than the unemployment rate might otherwise suggest.

The White House said Friday the report was a "strong showing for the surging economy" but President Donald Trump refrained from celebrating on Twitter, as he has frequently done.

US hiring cooled in July after more-robust gains than previously reported, while the unemployment rate slipped back below 4 percent and wage increases remained subdued, reinforcing a picture of steady labor-market growth in line with the Federal Reserve's outlook for gradual interest-rate hikes.

Thirty-seven percent of responding small business owners said they had job openings they could not fill, the highest number since the Monthly Jobs Report began, the NFIB said August 2. While the data mark a solid start to the quarter and should keep the Fed on track for an interest-rate hike in September, a widening trade war threatens to curb growth in the labor market.

But the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, closer to an 18-year low.

Job gains were seen in the durable goods manufacturing and health care sectors as well as in restaurants and bars. Sales of new homes fell sharply in June.

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

Last month, Trump also saw a 4.1 percent GDP rate, the highest since 2014.

"That is pathetic", economist Joel Naroff wrote in a client note. "That does not bode well for future spending". While the unemployment rate for workers with less than a high school degree is well below the prerecession level and even its 2000 low, the unemployment rate for workers with a college degree, at 2.2 percent, is still above its prerecession low of 1.8 percent and well above its 2000 low of 1.5 percent. Manufacturers, among the most directly affected by the import taxes, added 37,000 jobs, the most in seven months.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9 percent from 4 percent.

Hiring sizzled in July in business services, manufacturing and hospitality.

With rising gas prices pushing up inflation, Americans actually saw their inflation-adjusted pay decrease in the past year.

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