US UNEMPLOYMENT Jobless rate slips as hiring slows

US UNEMPLOYMENT Jobless rate slips as hiring slows

US UNEMPLOYMENT Jobless rate slips as hiring slows

An applicant looks at available positions listed for a hotel at a job fair in Sunrise, Florida.

Friday's jobs report for July revealed another good month for the American economy, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9% from 4%.

A jobless rate of under 4 percent usually prompts employers to raise wages to attract and keep good workers; but, the newest figures show wages grew just 2.7 percent over the past year, which is slightly lower than the inflation rate, meaning that real wages are actually falling slightly.

President Donald Trump's administration has imposed duties on steel and aluminium imports, provoking retaliation by the United States' trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The slip in hiring last month may be temporary.

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Economists had forecast that the number of jobs created would be close to 190,000 for the month.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9 percent in July, even as more people entered the labor force in a sign of confidence in their job prospects.

Workers with only a high school degree also seem to be doing relatively better, with a 4.0 percent unemployment rate matching the prerecession low (it had been 3.9 percent in May), although still above the 3.2 percent low hit in 1999.

Stocks rose moderately after the report was released. There are about 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the nation. Wages for construction production and non-supervisory workers are rising, far outpacing other industries, reflecting a short supply of labor relative to demand.

America now has more jobs available that people considered unemployed.

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Average hourly earnings increased seven cents, or 0.3%, in July after gaining 0.1% in June.

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.

The data follow a factory survey earlier this week showing manufacturing growth cooled in July and executives were concerned about the impact of the trade war.

Education and health services added 22,000 jobs last month, the fewest since October 2017, after boosting payrolls by 69,000 jobs in June. Wages have remained in a holding pattern below the highs of the last expansion, despite persistent complaints from employers that they're struggling to find skilled workers and job openings near a record high.

The drop in government payrolls was concentrated in local governments, which shed 20,000 jobs.

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