USA job creation slows as employers scrounge for labor

US jobs growth slows more than expected in July

That was just slightly higher than 3.8 percent, the 18-year low the nation reached in May.

July wasn't a stellar month for hiring in the USA healthcare sector, with fewer jobs added in ambulatory care, hospitals and nursing facilities compared with a month earlier.

The gains came from white-collar professional firms as well as manufacturing which filled 37,000 jobs.

The overall unemployment rate inched down to 3.9 percent from 4 percent the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

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But, as with small businesses, manufacturers are having trouble filling job openings, she said. Construction companies hired 19,000 more workers after increasing payrolls by 13,000 jobs in June.

Among the unemployed, the number of people looking for work after losing or quitting their jobs fell by almost 290,000 to 1.8 million. The consensus on Wall Street calls for the central bank to raise rates twice more this year, in September and December.

Another highlight from Friday's report was a decline in the underemployment rate - a measure that captures both those out of work and people who want full-time work but are working part-time - which dropped to a post-crisis low of 7.5% in July, down from 7.8% in June.

So far this year, job growth has averaged 215,000 per month, above last year's pace of 182,000, noted PNC chief economist Gus Faucher.

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But workers' average hourly paychecks grew tepidly from the previous month and are up just 2.7 percent compared to the same time a year ago.

Gapen said he's optimistic that wage gains will pick up, ending the year at about a 3 percent increase. Politically sensitive trade gaps with China, Mexico and Canada all increased, potentially setting the stage for even more sabre-rattling tweets from President Trump.

Despite the attention given to the "retail apocalypse", retailers have actually added 96,000 jobs in the past 12 months. 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. The annual increase in wages was unchanged at 2.7 percent in July. "This is an issue not just for the US, but in every other developed market".

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government.

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