U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in July, and the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Meanwhile, average hourly pay for workers rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier, to $27.05 from $26.34.
Below are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month. Additionally, monthly growth rates are shown for the prior year. The latest month’s figures are highlighted. Wage data are shown when available.
U.S. unemployment fell to 4.7%, the lowest rate since 2007. But job creation was very weak.
The U.S. economy only added 38,000 jobs in May, according to the Labor Department. It was the worst monthly job gain since 2010.
It’s also well below April’s meager job gains of 123,000. Job creation in the last two months has been markedly below the average of 200,000 jobs created per month over the past couple years.
The drop in unemployment came as more disheartened Americans stopped looking for jobs and dropped out of the labor force in May.
‘It’s a pretty gloomy report, hard to find a silver lining in this one,” says Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.
American employers are the equivalent of a shopkeeper who has a “Help Wanted” sign permanently on display in his window, but never actually hires anybody. None of the applicants who come in offer the perfect mix of skills, experience and willingness to accept low pay that the shopkeeper is looking for.
That’s one way of reading some key measures of the labor market, updated Tuesday, that shed light on what afflicts the economy and where things will go from here.
According to the latest Labor Department data, employers had 4.8 million positions they were looking to fill in October. That’s up 25 percent in the last year and 125 percent since the start of the economic expansion in mid-2009.
But for all these vacancies, actual hiring isn’t in a similar boom. The number of people hired is up only 12 percent in the last year and 33 percent over the five-year expansion.