USA employers add 157,000 jobs, jobless rate hits 3.9 per cent

New York New York. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in July

The economy created 59,000 more jobs in May and June than previously reported and needs to generate about 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

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.

The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent, the lowest level on record.

At this stage in a record stretch of job growth that began in 2010, however, all eyes are on wages because they've been much slower to recover from the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9 per cent from 4 per cent, the Labor Department said Friday. The economy is now entering its tenth year of expansion, and hiring has actually accelerated this year compared with 2017, surprising most analysts.

Although the overall gain for July came in slightly below expectations, figures for payroll increases in May and June were revised substantially higher. Average hourly earnings were up 2.7% year-to-year during the month for production and nonsupervisory employees.

The decline in the jobless rate reflected a 284,000 decline in the number of unemployed people in the workforce, while the number of employed increased by 389,000.

After remaining elevated for years after the Great Recession, the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen almost 13 percent in the past year and now stands at 4.6 million.

Strong demand from consumers and businesses sharply reduced the stockpiles of goods held on many store shelves and warehouses. "I think the economy's in a really good place", Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told NPR in July.

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.

"Today marks just the 8th time since 1970 that unemployment has fallen below 4% - with 3 of those occasions occurring in 2018!" said Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior advisor to the President, in an August 3 tweet. "But we are getting very modest wage inflation".

The BLS figures contrast with those of payroll services firm ADP Inc., whose employment report issued August 1 stated that US private sector employment increased by 219,000 jobs in July.

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