The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July, slightly lower than the forecast of 235,000 from briefing.com, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The 215,000 jobs created in July was lower than the average monthly gain of 246,000 over the prior 12 months.
During the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 235,000 per month.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May and June was revised higher by 14,000.
In May job gains were revised from 254,000 to 260,000 while the change for June was revised from 223,000 to 231,000.
Job gains occurred the most in the retail sector with 36,000 jobs followed by healthcare with 28,000, professional/tech services with 27,000, and financial services with 17,000.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours in July.
The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents in July to $24.99.
For the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.1 percent.
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.6 percent in July, after dropping by 0.3 percentage point in June.
On Wednesday Private payroll processor ADP reported that private sector employment growth increased by 185,000 in July, missing the forecast of 240,000 from briefing.com. and leading investors to question the strength of today’s job report for July,