The 2019 jobs report for July offered no surprises about the United States’ current economy: it’s healthy and growing. 164,000 new jobs were added in the single month of July, in line with prior estimates. The 3.7% unemployment rate marks the 17th straight month the unemployment rate has remained below 4%. Even the broadest measure of unemployment is only at 7%, the lowest it has been since 2000.
“The July unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, marking the 17th straight month in which the unemployment rate is at or below 4%.” Read more of Acting Secretary @PatPizzellaDOL’s statement on July’s #JobsReport: https://t.co/TSvUQvUgM3 pic.twitter.com/GUoXAtgGT3
— US Labor Department (@USDOL) August 2, 2019
The rate of hiring has slowed slightly; the average of 140,000 jobs added per month in the last three months is down from the 187,000 per month average of the previous three months.
“After an acceleration in 2018, job growth in 2019 is somewhat slower but still solid,” chief economist for PNC Financial Services Gus Faucher told his clients. This, too, has matched predictions. “A tight labor market that is making it difficult to find workers; reduced fiscal stimulus, trade tensions, slower global growth, and business uncertainty are all weighing on the labor market.”
However, the picture is not as bleak as Faucher’s words seem to paint it: 370,000 people entered the labor force in July alone, and the average duration of unemployment has dropped to the lowest it has been this economic cycle, at 19.6 weeks.
The numbers continue to improve when looking at employee preferences – the number of people working part-time who would like to work full time has dropped by 363,000, which suggests that more people are not just finding jobs but finding the full-time ones they need to provide for themselves or their family. Additionally, hourly earnings have risen by 3.2% from last year, which accommodates for the rising cost of living.
The largest growing industries, unsurprisingly, have been professional and technical services. Together, these two industries have added 31,000 jobs, including a significant number in computer systems design. The health care industry came in at a close second, bringing in 30,000 new jobs in the same period.
One industry which has declined, notably, is the goods-producing sector, which reached a three-year low in July. Economists attribute this to the uncertainty surrounding the industry resulting from trade policy. However, the overall steady growth of the U.S. economy – which has been expanding for over ten years now – throughout the ups and downs of the Obama and Trump administrations is certainly comforting for many Americans who worry about the country’s economy, both present, and future.
Ruth Moreno is a contributor to TheRichValdes.com
NY Times - Job Growth Slows in July but Remains Solid