American job growth falls short of expectations in July

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Other data in the report pointed to broader-based improvements in the job market.

The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.9% in July, the US Department of Labor said, near to the 18-year low it reached in May.

Asian unemployment dropped to 3.1 percent while black unemployment, still hovering around historical lows, increased slightly to 6.6 percent.

Since the beginning of this year, the USA has seen multiple economic milestones in addition to 1.5 million new jobs.

"With inflation running at a roughly 2 percent rate, that means that there's not a lot of financial wiggle room for many Americans", said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst.

Average hourly earnings increased seven cents, or 0.3 per cent, in July after gaining 0.1 per cent in June.

The Trump administration cheered the jobs numbers on Friday as a sign its economic policies are continuing to boost growth and hiring. The economy grew at 4.1% during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years.

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The Federal Reserve upgraded its view of the economy this week, substituting "strong" for "solid" in the statement that policymakers released after their latest meeting.

The unemployment rate nosed down 0.1 percentage points from June, to 3.9 percent, the BLS said in its latest report issued August 3. "Household spending and business fixed investment have grown strongly".

The government revised the previous months' job gains by an additional 59,000. (With revisions, it was 224,000, compared with 184,000 in the same period last year and 181,000 in 2016.) "It is unbelievable that at this point in a recovery you are seeing growth that is on average faster than the previous two years", she said. Below that was outpatient care centers, adding 4,300 jobs. Politically sensitive trade gaps with China, Mexico and Canada all increased, potentially setting the stage for even more sabre-rattling tweets from President Trump.

"It appears to be that the strength of fiscal stimulus measures are outweighing any kind of effect of trade tensions", said Wright from iCIMS.

Experts blamed some of the change on closing retail stores, but said the labor market remains tight, with more openings than jobs overall.

That's good news for workers without a high school degree and those without a college degree.

With the US unemployment rate near a five-decade low, companies are looking harder for employees, and in some cases finding them right at their own workplaces.

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