Employment Rose by 187,000 in July, Unemployment Rate Steady at 3.5%

Washington, DC, August 4, 2023-Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 in July, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.5%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

Job gains occurred in healthcare, social assistance, financial activities, and wholesale trade.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Forecasters estimated wage gains eased very slightly in July. Other recent data showed employer spending on pay and benefits rose more slowly in the second quarter than last year. The Federal Reserve is closely watching wage growth as a sign of inflationary pressures, especially among services providers.

“Economists are dialing back their recession expectations after many had projected a downturn, along with job losses, would start midyear in response to Fed interest rate increases. The central bank raised its benchmark rate to a 22-year high last week. Fed Chair Jerome Powell didn’t rule out another increase but noted that the labor market had come into ‘better balance’ in recent months, with fewer open positions and a larger share of Americans working or seeking jobs.

“Hiring is likely to slow further later this year, but gradually, said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. ‘We’re not seeing or expecting the sort of mass layoffs like we had at the beginning of the pandemic,’ he said.”