U.S. Adds 209,000 Jobs In July; Unemployment 4.3%

By Jeffry BartashMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

The U.S. created 209,000 new jobs in July, easily beating Wall Street forecasts and showing the labor market still has plenty of muscle more than eight years into a expansion. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 175,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate slipped to 4.3% from 4.4%, retouching a 16-year low. Average wages climbed 0.3% to $26.36 an hour, the government said Friday. Hourly pay increased 2.5% from July 2016 to July 2017, unchanged from the prior month. The average workweek was flat at 34.5 hours. Hiring was led by professional firms, health-care providers and restaurants. The government raised its estimate of new jobs created in June to 231,000 from 222,000. May's gain was reduced to 145,000 from 152,000.

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