America added 255,000 jobs in July, but unemployment rate unchanged

From The Washington Post:

America’s labor market is surging again after a weak spring, with government data released Friday showing the economy added a healthy 255,000 jobs last month.

The gains provided reassurance that the recovery has momentum despite slow growth in the broader economy. Standard & Poor’s chief U.S. economist Beth Ann Bovino said the job market delivered a “solid sequel” to the blockbuster hiring in June, leaving weak performance in May a “distant memory.” The Labor Department increased its estimate of job growth over both those months by 18,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged in July at 4.9 percent.

“The economy continues to power forward despite the uncertainty and geopolitical risks out there in the world,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “The economy is moving forwards, not backwards.”

Wall Street appeared to welcome the positive numbers, with the three major U.S. stock indexes gaining ground in morning trading. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.9 percent at midday, with the broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index notching an increase of 0.8 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose a full percentage point.

The jobless rate has fallen by more than half since peaking at 10 percent in the aftermath of the Great Recession seven years ago. Many economists have begun to wonder whether the unemployment rate can fall much further. In addition, analysts have cautioned that job growth will eventually slow as businesses fill their open positions — still a positive sign for the economy.

In July, hiring was strong across almost every major industry. Professional and business services added 70,000 jobs, including computer systems designers, architects and consultants. Health-care employment rose by 43,000, while the financial industry gained 18,000 …

Continue Reading