USA: July jobs report beats expectations

The unemployment rate matched a post-crisis low in July

The jobs report is out and it’s a beat.

In July, the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs, more than the 180,000 expected by economists. The robust 222,000 jobs added in June were also revised up to 231,000.

Over the last three months, job gains have averaged 195,000 per month.

In July, the unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, as expected. In June, the unemployment rate stood at 4.4%.

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Wages in July were also a bit better than expected, as month-on-month gains came in in-line with expectations and year-on-year gains topped expectations. Wages rose 0.3% over the prior month and 2.5% over last year.

Expectations were for wages to rise 0.3% month-on-month and 2.4% over the prior year. Many economists expect that with the unemployment rate now within shouting distance of 4% we’d see more acceleration in aggregate wage gains.

Following the release of the report, stock futures were higher with the Dow up 60 points, S&P 500 futures were up 3 points, and the Nasdaq was up 9 points.

In July, the underemployment rate, which includes those out of work and those working part-time but would like to have full-time work, stood at 8.6%, unchanged from June. This number has gotten more attention in recent months as resident Trump’s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has mentioned bringing down this figure as a particular point of emphasis for the administration.

The labor force participation rate also rose by 0.1% in July, ticking up to 62.9%.