Jobs report misses as unemployment rate slides near 18-year low

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The jobs figures follow second quarter data last week showing the United States economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1%.

The employment picture's been pretty rosy lately, with average job growth above 200,000 a month since mid-spring and more people coming back into the labor market.

Workers with only a high school degree also seem to be doing relatively better, with a 4.0 percent unemployment rate matching the prerecession low (it had been 3.9 percent in May), although still above the 3.2 percent low hit in 1999. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million.

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"This is not a labor market in which you're going to get your wish list candidate", Wright said. As economic momentum continues, the labor force is still growing and unemployment is receding, resulting in a tick down in the unemployment rate and a rise in the employment-to-population ratio. Our research shows that wage and salary growth, and the EP ratio for the prime working-age cohort, are closely correlated, pointing toward further gains in wage growth. Increased labor market churn will place upward pressure on wages.

With the USA unemployment rate near a five-decade low, companies are looking harder for employees, and in some cases finding them right at their own workplaces. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 327,000 jobs.

An increase in wages that occurred in June also could help the housing market even though it remains below the pre-recession rate of growth, he added. Faucher writes that as that happens, job growth will slow down because businesses will find it more hard to recruit new hires.

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The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components, increased 1.9 percent in June.

The relative consistency in jobs growth allows economist to turn their attention to wage growth, a key reading for policy makers looking to keep inflation to the Federal Reserve's 2% target. The consensus on Wall Street calls for the central bank to raise rates twice more this year, in September and December. There were declines in transport, utilities and financial payrolls last month. Utilities employment fell for a third straight month and the finance and insurance industry shed 9,400 jobs last month.

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