BLS Releases July 2018 Employment Situation (Aug 2018)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy added 157,000 jobs in July. With upward revisions to the data from the prior two months, the average gain over the last three months was 224,000. The leading sector for job gains in July was professional and business services, which increased by 51,000 in July and have added 518,000 over the year. The other leading sector is manufacturing, which added 37,000 jobs—all but 5,000 of which were in durable goods manufacturing. Employment in manufacturing is up by 327,000 over the last year, an increase of 2.6 percent. Other sectors adding employment in July are health care and social assistance (+34,000); food services and drinking places (+26,000); construction (+19,000); and retail trade (+7,000). Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major sectors, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial services, and government.
The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent as most of the rise in unemployment in June—which was due to increased labor force participation—was reversed. The labor force participation rate—at 62.9 percent in July, was unchanged over the month. The employment-population (EPOP) ratio rose to 60.5 percent, a new high for the recovery.
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 points and 676,000 respectively. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) declined 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 over the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force decreased by 287,000 in July to 1.8 million, following an increase in June. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.) Long-term unemployed—those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in July and accounted for 22.7 percent of the unemployed.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (called involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in July, at 4.6 million; down by 669,000 over the year. These persons, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full time jobs.
In spite of the healthy pace of job growth and the low unemployment rate, there continues to be little evidence of accelerating wage growth. Over the last year, the average hourly wage has risen by 2.7 percent. There is a small uptick to 2.87 percent if wage growth over the last three months (May, June and July) are annualized compared with the prior three months (February, March and April).
The full BLS press release on the July 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 7, 2018.