July Jobs Report: What Did the Data Say?

Aug 05, 2019
| Michael Altiero
July 2019 Jobs Report

The state of the U.S. economy has been a highly talked about and debated topic throughout 2019 and will continue to be as we get closer to the 2020 presidential election.

June’s Jobs Report was a strong showing coming off a less-than-stellar May. When the June numbers first came out, 224,000 jobs were created – beating estimates by around 60,000 jobs.

Even though unemployment rose from 3.6% to 3.7%, the results overall were very positive. Now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released their July 2019 Jobs Report.

What were the results? Let’s find out!

Did Job Creation Miss Estimates or Exceed Them?

As always, one of the most anticipated numbers in the monthly Jobs Report is payroll increases. 164,000 jobs were created in July, just barely missing estimates that were around 165,000.

However, downward revisions were made to both the June and May job numbers. June’s went down to 193,000 (it was reported at 224,000) and May’s results were cut from 72,000 to 62,000. In total, around 41,000 jobs were shaved off prior totals.

Following these revisions, the average number of jobs created over the last three months sits at 140,000.

In 2019, the U.S. economy is averaging 165,000 jobs added per month, compared to 223,000 in 2018. This decrease in average was expected coming into 2019.

What Happened with Unemployment Rates in July?

June saw unemployment rate increase slightly to 3.7%, but most analysts were not worried about the result.

In the latest Jobs Report, unemployment rate remained unchanged, staying at 3.7% in July. However, there was a very positive result related to the unemployment rate.

Sometimes called the “real” unemployment rate, this other measure of unemployment includes discouraged workers and those who are underemployed. July saw the “real” unemployment rate decrease to 7%, the lowest since December 2000.

And in another encouraging sign, the labor participation rate increased to 63%, which represents one of the highest totals in the last 5 years.

How Did Wage Growth Look in July?

Despite the overall positive state of the economy and job market over the last several years, one number that hasn’t grown as much as many have hoped is wage growth. It took until mid-2018 for the year-to-year number to reach 3% increases but has mostly stalled since.

The last few months have seen wage growth stay at 3.1% but this percentage finally changed in July. Average hourly earning increased to $27.98, which resulted in wage growth rising to 3.2% year over year – beating estimates that had this number staying the same once again.

Whether this is the start of continued growth or a one-month increase will be determined in the August Jobs Report.

July was a Good Month for the United States Job Market

The July Jobs Report was seen, overall, as a positive outcome for the United States economy. With the Federal Reserve interest-rate cut, next year’s presidential election, and other factors at play, it will be interesting to see how Jobs Report data fluctuates in the coming months.

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