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U.S. adds 209,000 jobs in July

by Loretta Clodfelter

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent. The strong jobs report, which beat economists’ consensus expectations, followed a strong performance in June.

From an employment perspective, the U.S. economy appears to be in a Goldilocks moment — not too hot, not too cold. More people are finding work, and the unemployment rate is falling, but earnings have not been rising so quickly as to trigger inflationary concerns. In July, average hourly earnings rose by $0.09 to $26.36.

The strongest job category in July was food services and drinking places, which added 53,000 jobs in July and has added 313,000 jobs in the past 12 months, and highlights an ongoing trend toward dining out and the strength of the restaurant industry. Other strong categories were professional and business services, adding 49,000 jobs, and healthcare, adding 39,000 jobs.

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