Unemployment Rate for Workers Without High School Degrees Hits Record Low

Unemployment Rate for Workers Without High School Degrees Hits Record Low

July marked a solid month for the USA labor market according to the US Department of Commerce's Employment Report released this morning.

Employers added 157,000 jobs in July - 33,000 fewer than expected and well below the 248,000 created in June.

Thirty-seven percent of responding small business owners said they had job openings they could not fill, the highest number since the Monthly Jobs Report began, the NFIB said August 2.

"We've continued to add jobs routinely every month for so long, and the unemployment rate we have reached is unbelievable", said Catherine Barrera, chief economist of the online job site ZipRecruiter. African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates are hovering around the lowest rates since the Labor Department began recording those statistics in the early 1970s. But many potential workers are still on the sidelines, and Congress has an opening to help.

The decline in the jobless rate reflected a 284,000 decline in the number of unemployed people in the workforce, while the number of employed increased by 389,000.

The jobs data released on Friday followed a report that the U.S. trade deficit widened in June for the first time in four months as exports fell and imports grew.

Jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor tracks wages across the US in its Local Pay Reports.

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"The important point is that there is no sign of overheating but that aggregate wages and salaries (jobs x hours x earnings) are growing at a brisk pace", Neil Dutta, the head of United States economics at Renaissance Macro, said in a note.

Job gains have averaged 215,000 so far this year, an acceleration from 2017 (182,000) and 2016 (195,000) averages. The U.S. central bank said "the labor market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has been rising at a strong rate".

Employment gains remained strong in manufacturing and other tradeable goods industries, while all of the job growth slowdown in July occurred in the service-producing industries that have less exposure to trade. "@POTUS is keeping his promise to restore our economy and put Americans back to work", said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in an August 3 tweet.

Employment also fell marginally in logging and mining, a sector that includes the oil industry, as well as in financial services, leisure and hospitality and in government. Wage growth has been stuck around that level for two years. In May, unemployment hit 3.8 per cent, the lowest reading since April 2000.

Transportation payrolls dropped by 1,300 jobs last month, with transit and ground transportation employment declining by 14,800 jobs. Mortgage rates have also increased in the past year, lifting monthly payments and making many homes even less affordable.

"While this increased employment is undoubtedly good news, job growth exacerbates the monumental manufacturing workforce shortage", she said.

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