U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July, slowing down from previous months. The increase is also lower than analysts expected. This shows that the Federal Reserve’s plan to slow growth may be working. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%. Year-over-year wage growth remained flat at 4.4%.
187,000: U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July.
3.5%: The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%.
4.4%: Wages grew 4.4% over the past year.
The headline number of July’s report, 187,000 jobs added to the economy, is good news because it represents a more sustainable pace of growth, and as MarketWatch reports, could be a sign that the economy is cooling enough to decrease inflation. Nearly half of the jobs created in July were by medical providers and in social programs. The Federal Reserve also dropped its forecast of a recession, and economists say a downturn is not likely in the next year.
According to the New York Times, wage growth is still higher than experts would like to see, remaining unchanged from the 4.4% year-over-year growth seen in last month’s report. Federal officials are looking for that number to drop. Recently, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stated that some Fed officials have been making the case that high wage growth could be a sign that workers are trying to keep up with inflation by negotiating higher pay, so slower wage growth could follow decreased inflation.
The big question is whether the Fed will increase rates again at its next meeting in September. As the Wall Street Journal reports, officials will also be able to consider August’s jobs report numbers and inflation data from July and August during that meeting. July’s jobs report and June’s inflation numbers paint a mixed picture, with slower job growth and consumer inflation down to 3% but high wage growth and flat labor force participation. So, experts will be watching the next reports closely.