July Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Decreases But Wage Growth Remains Stagnant

Aug 14, 2018
| Michael Altiero
July Jobs Report Data

The June Jobs Report was generally seen as yet another positive outlook for the United States economy.

Jobs were added for the 93rd consecutive month, and even though the unemployment rate rose to 4.0%, economists and experts believed this to actually be a sign of a healthy market.

Based on these results, expectations were high for the July Jobs Report, and what would be reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Let’s take a closer look at the latest jobs report and some of the data that was revealed!

U.S. Labor Market Continued Its Steady Growth

For the 94th consecutive month, the United States economy saw job gains. Even though job growth slowed a bit in July compared to previous months, 157,000 non-farm jobs were added.

This came in under the 193,000 jobs economists had predicted ahead of the report. One negative from this part of the report is this missed expectations of jobs was the highest since October 2017.

It was also slightly under the 200,000-monthly average of new jobs created in 2018.

However, since job gains were higher than expected in May and June, most experts and economists aren’t too concerned with the missed expectations in July.

Unemployment Rate Decreased in July

One of the more surprising findings from the June report was that unemployment rose for the first time in a year.

In another positive result, July saw unemployment decrease once again back down to 3.9%, signaling that the job market is still healthy for candidates of all experience levels who are looking for employment. This number matched what was forecasted by experts.

Additionally, digging further into unemployment data in 2018 shows that job seekers 25 years and older without a college degree or high-school diploma have also been able to find jobs.

Last month, unemployment was 5.5% for workers without a high school diploma, whereas this number stood at 8.5% in September 2016.

Wage Growth Continues to be a Concern

Even with all the positive trends in the jobs reports in recent months, one area continues to cause concerns for economists – slow wage growth.

Last month, wage growth stalled at 2.7% which was the same as May. In July, hourly wages increased just 7 cents. This kept the year over year wage gain at 2.7% once again.

Economists continue to say that wages will rise as unemployment numbers decrease, causing employers to have to pay more to attract and retain talent.

We’ll have to wait until the August Jobs Report to see if this expectation starts to come to fruition.

Stay Tuned for the August 2018 Jobs Reports

Though it seems like the June report was just released, here we are looking at the July data. And in just a few weeks, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will unveil the job market data for August.

Experts continue to expect unemployment rate to decrease and job creation to increase. However, all eyes will be on wage growth, and if that number increases from the 2.7% it has been stuck on for several months.

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