The United States’ economy added 209,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent, a 16-year low, the U.S Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists had forecast that 180,000 jobs were created during the month, according to Bloomberg. Hiring in June was revised to a faster rate than previously reported, by 9,000 jobs to 231,000, writes Business Insider.
Despite the good news on the hiring front, wage growth remained sluggish in July. Average hourly earnings increasing by just 0.3 percent month-on-month — as expected — and 2.5 percent year-on-year (compared with 2.4 percent expected), according to the Business Insider report.
Wages should in theory be rising as the economy expands, but some experts say it isn’t because people aren’t switching jobs as often, which typically boosts their wages.
Meanwhile, the share of working-age Americans who were part of the workforce rose to 62.9 percent from 62.8 percent, according to the government figures cited by Business Insider. One group of workers that have been coming back to the jobs market at a quick rate is prime age workers between 25 and 54. Their labor-force participation rose to a new post-recession high of 78.7 percent, which shows the recovery in jobs has attracted them back into the workforce.
Frank Kalman is Talent Economy’s managing editor. To comment, email email@example.com.