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HomeNewsEconomyJobs Report Much Stronger than Expected: 209,000 Jobs; 4.3% Unemployment

Jobs Report Much Stronger than Expected: 209,000 Jobs; 4.3% Unemployment

Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, labor participation increased and the unemployment rate was 4.3%. The unemployment rate is now at the lowest level it’s been since May 2001.

The less-cited but perhaps more important employment-population ratio basically held up at 60.2% in July, but is up by 0.4% over the year.

These results are much stronger than the median forecast calling for only 183,000 jobs, and even more than the Econoday consensus forecast of 178,000. Of the total 209,000, a whopping 205,000 were jobs created in the private sector as opposed to total nonfarm payrolls.

In May, the government added 37,000 jobs, though it was unusually strong for the year.

Manufacturing added 12,000 jobs in July, while construction added 18,000. While the number in mining increased by a smaller 1,000 jobs, it has risen an average of 7,000 each month since its low from October 2016. Mining collapsed under the Obama Administration, but has surged since the election of President Donald Trump.

With more jobs being created in high-payer sectors, as opposed to the service sector dominating job creation almost exclusively, wages have begun to rise again.

In July, wages posted a strong 0.3% increase, as average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.36. Still, over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5%. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.10.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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