In a new indication that the economy has stabilized as the Fed moved to reduce interest rates, hiring in the United States slowed in July but fell in line with estimates. The Labor Department said on Friday (August 2) that nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 last month, The Street reported.
The risk marked a drop off from jobs growth in June that was downwardly revised from 224,000 to 193,000. In addition, job growth in May was downwardly revised to 62,000. July’s increase was just about in line with the average forecast of economists for roughly 165,000 new jobs. It was also noted that the rate of unemployed was close to the lowest in a half-century, holding at 3.7 percent.
According to the department, as cited by the report, average hourly earnings increased by 8 cents during the month. The rise matched the same pace as June and was a bit faster than economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent. Average wages were up 3.2 percent through July over the past year, which marked an acceleration of the year-over-year increase in June of 3.1 percent.
Jobs growth was powered by gains in technical and professional services like computer systems design (and related services) as well as social assistance, financial activities and healthcare.
The news comes after it was reported in July that the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs in June, which was the best gain since the start of the year. At the same time, it was noted that the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low. According to reports, economists had only expected nonfarm payrolls to increase by 165,000. The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.
Job gains were led by business and professional services at 51,000. The transportation and warehousing sector added 24,000 jobs, while healthcare gained 35,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 17,000 and construction added 21,000. And in the past year, per reports at the time, wages increased 3.1 percent, just below market estimates of 3.2 percent.