Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, coming in slightly below consensus estimates. On the household side of the report, the unemployment rate fell to a new cyclical low of 7.4 percent, as labor force participation edged down 0.1 percent to 63.4 percent and the total number of person employed ticked up 0.2 percent.
As for the establishment side of the report, downward revisions to both May and June employment growth estimates combine for a total of 26,000 less jobs than previously reported. Over the past 12 months, employment growth has averaged about 187,000 jobs per month and 192,000 in the first half of the this year. The largest gains continue to come from a broad array of service-providing industries, such as retail trade (up 47,000) and food services and drinking places (up 38,000). The largest decline in employment came from construction, down 6,000 and nondurable goods, down 2,000. Notably, government employment had a modest uptick of 1,000, which is the first positive month since April. Elsewhere, the average workweek for all employees fell 0.1 percent to 34.4 hours and 0.2 hours to 40.6 hours for manufacturers. The average hourly earnings for all employees declined 2 cents to $23.98, following a 10-cent increase in June.