Local governments cut 20,000 jobs, the most in more than two years. Many business leaders have warned that the standoffs with China, the European Union and other major trading partners could cause layoffs if tariffs stay in place for an extended period of time. Economists had expected a gain of about 190,000. Hospitals added 6,800 jobs in July, 36% fewer than the 10,600 new jobs added in June, a month that represented a massive hiring spike from sluggish May growth.
The construction sector added 19,000 jobs, despite a slowdown in residential investment that has raised red flags about the broader economy. "There's no evidence that businesses are changing the way that they're hiring and spending".
This year's pickup comes after a steady economic recovery that has entered its tenth year and is now the second-longest on record.
Employment by nondepository mortgage companies in June increased for the third consecutive month as seasonal hiring continued even though home resales inched down another notch. The White House has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum and on $34 billion of imports from China, and several companies have hit US imports with retaliatory duties. More hours has helped lift average weekly earnings for retail workers in the past year more quickly than for workers overall.
But they fail to note that prices have been rising along with wages. Year-on-year growth was unchanged at 2.7%. Other sectors are seeing wages stagnate or even fall. It rose in June from an 18-year low of 3.8% in May.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve described a healthy picture of the U.S. economy. Over the past year, it has hired more than a half-million Americans and stands as the leading job-creating sector. Not since August 2001 have so many associate degree-holders and college dropouts held jobs in the labor force.
The Trump administration cheered the jobs numbers on Friday as a sign its economic policies are continuing to boost growth and hiring.
On Friday, China's Commerce Ministry said a new set of proposed import tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods are rational and restrained and warned that it reserves the right of further countermeasures in the intensifying trade war.
Stocks rose moderately after the report was released. This is 1.9 percentage points below its year-ago rate.