Hiring slowed modestly in July as construction and warehouse companies didn’t add many workers, but employers still say this is a “golden age” to get a job or ask for better pay and benefits.
The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in July, squarely in line with economists’ forecasts and marking 106 straight months of gains. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, near a half-century low, according to the Labor Department report released Friday. Although hiring has cooled from last year, companies continue to bring on new employees at a healthy pace.
“An average of 140,000 jobs over the last few months isn’t terrible, but is a definite slowdown from the numbers we saw last year,” tweeted Martha Gimbel, research director at Indeed’s Hiring Lab.
Nearly all of the job gains last month came from the service sector, not blue-collar jobs, a notable change from 2018 that could be a sign President Trump’s trade war is starting to bite certain industries.
Health care and business are seeing large gains this year while manufacturing employment has been weak as the industry grapples with tariffs and slowing purchases from abroad. In July, construction and warehousing had anemic hiring, and employment in primary metals, which includes steel and aluminum, declined.
“We want to see a surge in reshoring and new manufacturing jobs, but the Trump administration’s policies have fallen short of getting us there,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
The United States continues to have more job openings than unemployed, and employers are looking for ways to stand out to attract workers, including by raising pay and benefits.
The average hourly wage increased 3.2 percent in the past year, the Labor Department reported. That is well above the rate of inflation but below the level of wage growth that was seen at the end of the 1990s boom.
Source: Washington Post