The latest U.S. Labor Department report topped all expectations in terms of employment. The U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs last month and the jobless rate remained low at 4.9 percent. Hourly wages also increased to an annualized rate of 2.6 percent. The labor force participation is now at 62.8 percent and the average work week drew close to 34.5 hours.
Professional and business services accounted for most of the new positions and contributed with 70,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality also witnessed a hearty growth with 45,000 new jobs. The public sector added 38,000 jobs, health care 43,000, and financial services gained 18,000 positions. Construction added 14,000 and manufacturing 9,000 jobs. Employment in high-income positions, such as accountants, engineers, and managers, was slightly stronger than the one at the lower-wage level.
The jobless rate for various demographic groups also improved. Unemployment among Hispanics dropped from 5.8 percent to 5.4 percent and among teenagers from 16 percent to 15.4 percent.
Economists had initially predicted that the U.S. economy would add 180,000 in July.
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