August 4, 2017 – The Employment Situation gives the most comprehensive look at the labor market in the U.S. This report tracks new jobs, additions or subtractions from the labor force, the unemployment rate, as well as average hourly earnings and hours worked. There are implications for consumer purchasing power, spending on goods and services, and productivity.
The labor market came in at +209,000, weaker than June’s upwardly revised +231,000; but still beating a consensus of +178,000. Factory payrolls experienced two months of gains increasing +16,000 from last month. Employment for professional & business services provided a large boost of +49,000 while government provided a modest gain of +4,000 in July. Unemployment fell one tenth to 4.3%, in line with expectations. The participation rate rose 0.1% to 62.9% in July. The average workweek stayed steady at 34.5 hours also right in line with expectations. Average hourly earnings came in at expectations of 0.3%, up 2.5% year-over-year in July.
The slight increase in the labor force participation rate can be attributed to a small increase in average hourly earnings. The second straight month gains in factory payrolls indicates higher manufacturing numbers in the future, pointing to a boost to the economy. Significant boosts in jobs for professional & business services elevate non-manufacturing numbers, another helping hand to a growing economy. Higher jobs in professional & business services could also indicate more people are becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses.