July 2017 Jobs Report: Mixed Signals

Saskatchewan sheds 400 jobs in July pushing up the province’s unemployment rate to 6.6 per cent

The U.S. economy added a strong 209,000 jobs in July, more than economists had expected. Professional and business services are up 49,000 jobs, the health care industry is up 39,000 jobs, and manufacturing is up 16,000 jobs.

Although the economy is near full employment, wage growth has not been strong in part because numerous jobs being created are in low-wage industries. The BLS revised that figure upward to 231,000, while revising May downward by 7,000 for a net gain in revisions of 2,000 over the past two months.

President Trump hailed strong jobs numbers on Friday as a product of his policies.

President Donald Trump tweeted, "Excellent Jobs Numbers just released - and I have only just begun".

Alberta lost 14,000 jobs and saw its unemployment rate rise from 7.4 per cent in June to 7.8 per cent in July.

The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, was little changed.

The number of people in the workforce increased by 400 during the month.

Over the last three months, job gains have averaged 195,000 per month.

July's monthly increase in earnings could, however, offer Fed policymakers some assurance that inflation will gradually rise to the US central bank's 2 percent target.

"This print does evidence how split the USA economy is with low unemployment, good job creation, but longer-term inflation woes and mixed growth figures making [Fed chair] Janet Yellen's job particularly hard at present", said Alex Lydall of Foenix Partners.

In July, the average hourly earnings rose 9 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 26.36 US dollars, faster than the 0.2 percent in June.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in July, or the lowest level since October, 2008, or just prior to the onset of the financial crisis.

Another continual worry spot is wage growth, which remains sluggish.

Meanwhile, the index of aggregate weekly hours advanced at a 0.2% month-on-month clip with the number of average weekly hours steady at 34.5 (consensus: 34.5). In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.10.

Solid hiring last month.

More Americans who were on the sidelines jumped back into the job market in July to look for work.

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