The nation's labor markets showed robust growth in July, with nonfarm payrolls posting a high-than-expected gain of 316,000 workers. The civilian unemployment rate returned to its May level of 4.8% - the lowest since November 1973 - and the employment-to-population ratio edged up 0.1% over the same period, reaching 63.8%. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings remained unchanged at $12.23, and nonfarm employees' average workweek fell to 34.4 hours (down 0.3 hour). Household survey data, which are more variable than establishment data, also point to strength in the labor markets - an estimated addition of 344,000 workers.
Suggested citation: “Labor Markets,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 97-08, pp. 12, 08.01.1997.