June’s hot hiring spree stretched into July, and wages grew. As Fred Katayama reports, the strong jobs report raises the probability of an interest rate hike later this year.
U.S. adds 255,000 jobs in July
June’s super hot hiring spree stretched into July. U.S. employers added 255,000 people to their payrolls last month with gains nearly across the board. That was much more than economists had expected. That’s down from June’s 287,000 but way ahead of May’s paltry 11,000. The previous two months’ gains were revised upward. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent as more people entered the labor market.
In another sign of economic strength, average wages grew 0.3 percent. The report could raise the probability of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. Senior economist Michelle Girard of RBS said, “The July employment report was strong, leaving the door open for Fed action this year, more likely in December than September.”
Sectors with the biggest gains: professional and business services, especially computer systems-related jobs; leisure and hospitality, and healthcare. Construction snapped its three month losing streak. The only sector shedding jobs: mining, which has been hit hard by falling prices for crude oil.
The report drove the dollar higher against the yen and euro and pushed Treasury yields up.