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Extreme hiring in July added 255,000 jobs and lifted pay

Extreme hiring in July added 255,000 jobs and lifted pay

Aug 06,2016

U.S. employers added a healthy 255,000 jobs in July, a sign of certainty in the economy that will likely ease concerns about signs of weak growth in the midst of the presidential race.

A steep fall-off in hiring in May, when only 24,000 jobs were added, had spurred fears about an economic slowdown. But job growth rebounded back in June with a gain of 292,000.

Some economists raised the possibility that the job gains will embolden the Federal Reserve to resume increasing rates later this year, though perhaps not before December. The Fed raised its standard rate from a record low in December last year.

 Average hourly pay picked up in July and is 2.6 percent higher than it was a year ago, comparatively the fastest pace since the Great Recession officially ended in mid-2009. With unemployment low, some employers are possibly being compelled to compete with one another for new hires by offering higher pay.

Solid hiring happened last month across a range of industries, including middle- and high-wage jobs, one factor that likely boosted minimum pay. Professional and business services, a category that includes architects, engineers and managers, added 70,000 jobs, the most from October.

Financial services added 18,000 and construction 14,000. Government positions increased 38,000, the most in more than a year.

Health care, which includes jobs at all pay levels, gained nearly 49,000 fresh jobs. Hotels and restaurants added 27,000.

One of the most optimistic visions for the economy has come from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: It predicts that annualized growth will reach 3.7 percent in the present July-September quarter.

Public perceptions of the economy have been largely negative during this election season despite low unemployment.

Services companies, which range from retailers to banks to shipping firms, widen at a healthy pace in July, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group. Their increment slowed a bit from the previous month. But new orders picked up, a sign that growth could remain healthy.

But manufacturing continues to hassle and is weighing on hiring. Factories received fewer orders in June for a third straight month. Shaky growth overseas and a stronger dollar have cut into many companies' overseas businesses. And auto sales have equalize according to data released this week.

The slowdown in manufacturing has cost jobs: Factory employment has collapse about 30,000 in the past year, depriving the economy of key middle-income positions.

 

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