Workers with only a high school degree also seem to be doing relatively better, with a 4.0 percent unemployment rate matching the prerecession low (it had been 3.9 percent in May), although still above the 3.2 percent low hit in 1999. Economists forecast that employers added 191,000 jobs in July, down from 213,000 in June but easily enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. "Thus, either the unemployment rate isn't adequately capturing the true level of slack in the labor market, or wage pressures are likely to move down the pipeline sooner than later".
This trend is unlikely to persist, said Ellen Zentner, Morgan Stanley's chief United States economist.
Hiring sizzled in July in business services, manufacturing and hospitality. But sporting goods, hobby, toy and game stores fell 32,000 - reflecting the closure in late June of all remaining USA stores in the Toys R Us chain.
Martha Gimbel, director of economic research at Indeed.com, noted before Friday's report that "in the first half of 2018, the average monthly increase in jobs had even exceeded those in the comparable periods of 2015 and 2016".
Average hourly pay gains remained modest in July, increasing 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the same as the previous two months.
According to data (.pdf) released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy has averaged 224,000 new jobs per month over the past three months. The unemployment rate ticked down for both groups last month.
Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs, the most in seven months.
The employment picture's been pretty rosy lately, with average job growth above 200,000 a month since mid-spring and more people coming back into the labor market.
She'll be overseeing the National Council for the American Worker, a cross-department body launched in July by President Trump to help train and retrain Americans for the available jobs. In the service sector, hiring of 118,000 was the lowest since December, partly reflecting the cuts at Toys "R" Us.
The drop in government payrolls was concentrated in local governments, which shed 20,000 jobs. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million. The employment to population (EP) ratio for that group also rose to 79.5%, the highest it has been since May 2008. While the overall unemployment rate continues to bounce around 4%, the broadest measure of unemployment just fell to a new low in this recovery. The rate includes everyone looking for jobs, including those who are unsuccessful. People working part-time for economic reasons fell by 176,000 to 4.57 million.