July 2018 Jobs Report: Payroll Growth Slows

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

The July jobs report indicated that U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs on net last month, fewer than economists expected. The results fell short of the forecasts of analysts, who expected 190,000 jobs to be created during the month.

USA employers slowed their hiring in July, adding 157,000 jobs, a solid gain but below the healthy pace they maintained in the first half of this year.

The jobs data released on Friday followed a report that the U.S. trade deficit widened in June for the first time in four months as exports fell and imports grew.

The monthly jobs report showed unemployment declined to 3.9, down 0.1 percent from June. "A slightly upward gain one month here and there hardly coincides with a near eighteen-year low in the unemployment rate".

Overall, there were almost 5.5 million people in July who wanted a job but weren't counted as unemployed, which is a drop from over 5.7 million a year ago.

The U.S. labor market continues to strengthen. The current wage gains are barely enough to cover the rising costs of food and housing for many Americans.

One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

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The gain in payrolls was concentrated at private employers, which added 170,000 jobs, while the public sector cut 13,000 positions.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while painting an upbeat portrait of both the labor market and economy. "There's no evidence that businesses are changing the way that they're hiring and spending". Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain. The Federal Reserve is closely watching the wages component as it seeks to meet its 2 percent inflation target.

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. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June.

Manufacturing gained 37,000 jobs, driven by durable-goods and transportation companies. Utilities employment fell for a third straight month and the finance and insurance industry shed 9,400 jobs last month.

She'll be overseeing the National Council for the American Worker, a cross-department body launched in July by President Trump to help train and retrain Americans for the available jobs.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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