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Another Hiring Burst, Unemployment Rate Returns to 16-Year Low

US Jobs Report – July 2017

Another Hiring Burst, Unemployment Rate Returns to 16-Year Low

US Jobs Report

On Friday, August 4, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment situation report for July, which is a widely used indicator for the health of the labor market. Job creation in July did not disappoint exceeding many economists’ expectations, a sign that the economy is growing faster than other indicators had suggested. The jobless rate returned to the 16-year low as more people entered the labor force in search of work and found it - hiring remains robust despite a tight labor market that’s making it tougher to find workers.

Key Insights:

  • U.S. adds 209,000 new jobs in July, exhibiting an economy with little sign of exhaustion
  • The unemployment rate retouches the 16-year low of 4.3% in July, as more people entered the labor force in search of work and find it
  • The labor force participation rate ticked up to 62.9% from 62.8% in July
  • The size of the labor force expanded by 349,000 people
  • 2nd-quarter GDP increased to an annual rate of 2.6%, more than doubled up on a revised 1.2% pace of growth in the first quarter
  • Average wages rose 0.3% to $26.36 an hour last month as companies continue to pay more to attract or maintain talent

In the past year, employment has increased by an average of 180,000 new jobs each month. This report marks the 82nd straight month of continuous job growth.

Inside the Job Report:

In July, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 53,000 in July. The industry has added 313,000 jobs over the year.

Professional and business services added 49,000 jobs in July, in line with its average monthly job gain over the prior 12 months.

Health care employment increased by 39,000, with job gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Health care has added 327,000 jobs over the past year.

Employment in mining was essentially unchanged in July (+1,000). From a recent low in October 2016 through June, the industry had added an average of 7,000 jobs per month.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

Want to know more about the top trends in the job market? Check out the US Labor Market Update from Monster Intelligence.