U.S. economy adds 187,000 jobs in July
Here are three key takeaways from the July US payrolls report, released Friday: 1. Employers added 187,000 workers to their payrolls last month, fewer than economists had estimated, and the prior month’s figure was revised down, making it the weakest two months of gains in more than two years. 2. As overall job gains slowed, the labor market remains healthy. Wages picked up at a higher rate than forecast, with a 4.4% increase from the year-ago period. The unemployment rate fell and remains near the lowest in decades. Participation remained at 62.6% for the fifth straight month. 3. There were signs of cooling throughout the report, though: Temporary help services continued their slide, average hours worked ticked down, and some categories that led the boom in job growth in the post-pandemic period continue to cool, including manufacturing and transportation/warehousing. The data comes as U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers consider whether to continue interest rate increases next month. Friday’s report showed a labor market that is cooling, which works in policymakers’ favor, but wage inflation is still about double what the Fed thinks is healthy. Now we await the consumer price index report on Thursday.