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July labor report: 157,000 new jobs; unemployment dips below 4%

By Ed Adamczyk
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July labor report: 157,000 new jobs; unemployment dips below 4%
Representatives of Arlo Technologies ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City Friday. The Labor Department jobs report Friday showed 157,000 new jobs added in July, which was fewer than experts predicted. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Unemployment in the United States fell to below 4 percent last month, as 157,000 new jobs were added, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

The monthly jobs report showed unemployment declined to 3.9, down 0.1 percent from June. Average hourly earnings rose by seven cents to $27.05, the bureau report said.

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The percentage of employed Americans held steady at 63 percent and an increase of 51,000 workers was noted in the business and professional services sector. About 37,000 were added in manufacturing, 34,000 in healthcare and 26,000 in food services.

The construction sector produced 19,000 new jobs in June, the report said, while little or no change was seen in retail, mining, transportation and warehousing and government sectors.

The report missed most analysts' expectations. Economists expected a gain of at least 190,000 jobs -- and they said wages, which have risen 2.7 percent since the start of the year, are barely keeping pace with inflation.

Last week, the Commerce Department reported the U.S. gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter -- the quickest pace in nearly four years.

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The steady gains and lack of statistical volatility in hiring do not reflect any impact from current global trade tensions, experts said. They also noted new tariffs could at some point threaten the stability of the jobs market.

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