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Payrolls Beat: 209K Jobs Added In July, Solid Wage Growth, Unemployment Drops

And now the dovish Fed has another problem: the BLS reports that in July the US added 209K jobs, beating consensus expectations of a 180K print, while June was revised higher to 231K from 222K, even as May was revised modestly lower from 152K to 145K, for a net gain of +2,000 in the prior two months.

Nonfarm private payrolls rose 205k vs last month's 194k, and above the estimate of 180k, as the drop from durable manufacturing failed to materialize. In a familiar refrain, bars and restaurants hired the most workers of any sector in July.

Of course, keep in mind that the July gain was all in the seasonal adjustment factor: unadjusted, jobs declined by 1.308 million.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in July. In manufacturing, the workweek was also unchanged at 40.9 hours, and overtime remained at 3.3 hours.

Adding to the hawkish pressure, wages rebounded from last month's 0.2%, rising 0.3% M/M, and 2.5% on a Y/Y basis, above the 2.4% expected, while average weekly earnings rose from 2.8% in line with the highest print over the past 7 years, and once again putting wage inflation back on the map.

The unemployment rate dropped from 4.4% to 4.3% as expected, while the participation rate rose from 62.8% to 62.9%, as the number of workers out of the labor force declined by 156K to 94.657 million.


That said, the gap between the unemployment rate and the unemployment to population ratio remains wide.

Some more details from the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, and health care. Employment growth has averaged 184,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly gain in 2016 (+187,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 53,000 in July. The industry has  added 313,000 jobs over the year.

Professional and business services added 49,000 jobs in July, in line with its average  monthly job gain over the prior 12 months.

In July, health care employment increased by 39,000, with job gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Health care has added 327,000 jobs  over the past year.

Employment in mining was essentially unchanged in July (+1,000). From a recent low in October 2016 through June, the industry had added an average of 7,000 jobs per month.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities,  and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in July. In manufacturing, the workweek was also unchanged at 40.9 hours, and overtime remained at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the fourth consecutive month.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.36. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.10.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised down from +152,000 to +145,000, and the change for June was revised up from +222,000 to +231,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 2,000 more than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 195,000 per month.