157,000 US Jobs Were Added in July, Unemployment Rate at 3.9%

August 3, 2018 Last Updated: August 3, 2018

The U.S. Labor Department said Aug. 3 that 157,000 jobs were added in July, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent.

In June, the previous month, 248,000 jobs were added.

“In July, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 percent, following an increase in June. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million in July. Both measures were down over the year, by 0.4 percentage point and 676,000, respectively,” the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated.

The BLS noted that the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) saw a drop in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no change in July.

The labor force participation rate, meanwhile, held steady at 62.9 percent in July. It was unchanged over the month and over the year.

The average hourly earnings for all employees in the United States rose by 7 cents to $27.05. Hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent, over the past year, according to the BLS.

About one week before the release of July’s job figures, Trump touted the strong economy.

“During each of the two previous administrations, we averaged just over 1.8 percent GDP growth. By contrast, we are now on track to hit an average GDP annual growth of over 3 percent, and it could be substantially over 3 percent,” the president stated on the South Lawn of the White House on July 27.

He added: “Each point, by the way, means approximately $3 trillion and 10 million jobs. Think of that. Each point—you go up one point—that doesn’t sound like much; it’s a lot. It’s $3 trillion and it’s 10 million jobs.”

If the growth continues at the same rate, the U.S. economy will “double in size more than 10 years faster than it would have under either President Bush or President Obama,” Trump added.

Employers added an average of 224,000 new workers in the first six months of this year, which was a faster pace than in 2017.

The economy expanded at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the strongest showing in nearly four years.

Companies say they are struggling to find workers, with job openings higher than the number of unemployed for the first time in decades. Many firms appear to be giving part-time workers longer hours. The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year and now stands at 4.6 million. That’s the fewest in 11 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.