Monthly jobs growth disappoints, jobless rate meets expectations

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July, below analyst expectations for 190,000 jobs to be added in the month, while the unemployment rate decreased month over month and wage growth met expectations.

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The unemployment rate came in at 3.9%, matching expectations and below June's 4%. In May, the unemployment rate hit an 18-year low of 3.8%. The 3.9% unemployment rate suggests workers are in short supply.

Wages increased by 0.26%, in line with the 0.3% month-over-month increase analysts were expecting. The monthly wage growth put the annual reading at 2.7%, meeting analysts’ forecast

The government upwardly revised June jobs additions to 248,000 from the prior 213,000.

Commenting on the report, Mark Hamrick,'s senior economic analyst, said, “While attention immediately diverts to the payrolls gain of 157K, coming in shy of expectations, upward revisions for May and June take some of the sting out. Those revisions give us 59,000 jobs added that we didn’t know we had before.”

July job additions were propelled by the private sector, which added 170,000 jobs. Government employment shrank, with 13,000 jobs lost, almost erasing the 14,000 added in June.