Lower-Wage Americans Finally Get Some Relief in the Job Market

Aug 05, 2017, 00:24
Lower-Wage Americans Finally Get Some Relief in the Job Market

Economists had forecast a 12,500 increase in employment for July, and a $1.25-billion June trade deficit.

The economy gained 209,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.3 percent. "The downtick in the unemployment rate amid a rise in the labor force participation rate sweetened the report". There are still people who should be in the work force who aren't, and that drag is holding down wage growth because of the impact that sidelined labor has on pricing. Hiring was led by professional firms, health-care providers and restaurants.

In July, wages posted a strong 0.3% increase, as average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.36. That brings average hourly earnings year-to-date up 65 cents, or 2.5 percent.

In July, the underemployment rate (also known as the U-6 unemployment rate), which includes those out of work and those working part-time but who would like to have full-time work, stood at 8.6%, unchanged from June.

The U.S. economy created 209,000 jobs last month, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, exceeding expert predictions by almost 30,000 jobs.

The president promised this morning that he will continue to roll back "stifling regulations" that hurt jobs. The number of women of this age and older who reported having jobs rose by 14,000 from June and by 66,000 from a year earlier.

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From May to July, the monthly job gains have averaged 195,000, considered as a healthy pace by many economists.

Manufacturing employment increased by 13,700 on the month to give a 3.1% annual increase while construction jobs declined on the month.

The gain meant the unemployment rate ticked back down a tenth a point to 4.3 percent, the same as in May, when it reached its lowest level in 16 years.

Only 900 jobs were added in retail, but other industries saw major gains.

"This has been a slow jobs recovery, and teens are always at the bottom of the labor market queue", said Paul Harrington, an education professor and director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

One question raised by the long lines at Amazon's job fairs is the extent to which the job candidates are now employed and looking for higher pay.

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