U.S. job creation slows as employers scrounge for labor

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The pace of job growth was below economists' predictions that about 195,000 jobs would be added last month, but the Labor Department revised employment growth even higher for May and June, meaning the three-month average for job gains is 224,000, a very healthy pace at this stage of the recovery.

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, as companies appeared to struggle to find qualified workers and the unemployment rate declined, pointing to tightening labour market conditions. The economy grew at 4.1% during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years.

July 2018 Jobs Report Payroll Growth Slows
Biz July 2018 Jobs Report Payroll Growth Slows

■ The unemployment ratefell to 3.9 percent, from 4 percent.

Overall, there were almost 5.5 million people in July who wanted a job but weren't counted as unemployed, which is a drop from over 5.7 million a year ago.

Jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor tracks wages across the USA in its Local Pay Reports.

In a VOA interview via Skype, Cramer says so far, there is little evidence that Washington's many trade disputes have hurt employment, but that could change if the bickering goes on for "six or eight months". The current wage gains are barely enough to cover the rising costs of food and housing for many Americans.

President Donald Trump's administration has imposed duties on steel and aluminum imports, provoking retaliation by the United States' trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The unemployment rate ticked down for both groups last month.

Another month of sluggish wage gains could help cool fears the economy could be overheating but are unlikely to dissuade the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates next month for the third time this year. Initial jobless claims were near a 50-year low in the week the BLS conducted its survey for the jobs report and haven't added up to more than 300,000 since March 2015. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. Transportation, mining and financial services did not hire much in July.

During the same period, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index rose slightly more - 2.8 percent. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June. As usual, ambulatory healthcare services dominated healthcare hiring with its 9,900 new jobs, although that was a 27% drop from the 13,500 jobs added in June. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.