US Economy Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected In July

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

In July, the USA economy added 157,000 jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the past two months upward by 59,000 to 248,000 jobs in June and 268,000 in May.

Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 157,000 for the month, below the 190,000 expected in a Reuters survey of economists and the lowest gain since March. If the jobless rate drops to 3.7 percent or below, it would be the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.

The low unemployment rate could encourage the Federal Reserve to...

Companies say they are struggling to find workers, with job openings higher than the number of unemployed for the first time in decades. There are about 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the country. The economy grew at 4.1 percent during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years.

With the US unemployment rate near a five-decade low, companies are looking harder for employees, and in some cases finding them right at their own workplaces.

Neil Dutta, an economist at Renaissance Macro, said following Friday's report that, "The important point is that there is no sign of overheating but that aggregate wages and salaries (jobs x hours x earnings) are growing at a brisk pace".

Employers in the manufacturing sector extended a strong streak of job gains, suggesting that trade disputes hadn't yet weighed on hiring decisions in a major way.

Goods-producing jobs, which have been adding workers at a robust clip in recent quarters, posted further gains: The manufacturing sector increased payrolls by 37,000, the most since December and exceeding projections for 25,000. Some envision the unemployment rate dropping as low as 3.5 percent by the end of 2018.

"This is not a labor market in which you're going to get your wish list candidate", Wright said. The new spending follows a 60 percent jump in oil prices in the past year. Mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and financial activities remained mostly flat, the BLS said.

Expectations were for the economy to add 193,000 jobs with the unemployment rate falling to 3.9%.

Despite many businesses' trouble finding qualified workers, they are still hiring and looking outside traditional pools for talent.

The retail sector also added 7,000 jobs, despite 32,000 jobs lost in sporting goods, hobby, book, music and toy stores.

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