US Unemployment Rate Falls to 16-Year Low

  • US Unemployment Rate Falls to 16-Year Low

US Unemployment Rate Falls to 16-Year Low

The unemployment rate for people between the ages of 16 and 19 dropped to 13.2% in July, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job creation in July kept up its sizzling June pace, with nonfarm payrolls growing by 209,000 while the unemployment rate slid down to 4.3%.

Another figure that reflects less than full employment is the labor force participation rate, which was 62.9 percent in July, and the employment to population ratio, at 60.2 percent. Year over year, the number of people not in the labor force rose from 92.92 million to 93.24 million, while the number of people who now want a job dropped from 6.2 million to 5.7 million. Doing the most hiring: restaurants and bars, professional and business services, and healthcare. The average monthly job gain over the past three months is 195,000.

The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings rose by 0.3 percent to $26.36 in July.

Average hourly wages rose 2.5% from a year ago, as expected. The unemployment rate for women in this group is 5.4 per cent and 5.3 per cent for men, suggesting older workers who want jobs can find them. The unemployment rate was steady at 4.3 percent. We'd rather have 200K growth than 100K growth, of course, so it's better than we've seen in May and March of this year.

Similarly, what will happen to the number working part-time for economic reasons? The number of discouraged workers was 536,000, a 22,000 increase from June.

Strong job gains are consistent with above-trend growth in the economy, he said.

Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, said in a report that it would be a mistake to "nitpick" the gain in wages, adding that the steady rise over the past year "isn't too shabby".

Many economists, including members of the Federal Reserve, feel that wage growth of 3% to 3.5% a year is healthier.

"So, it's actually pretty unprecedented in our experience that on the one hand the labor market tightens, on the other hand wage inflation declines", Messmer said. Seasonally adjusted, residential construction added 1,000 jobs in the month, and is up by 36,000 jobs for the 12 months ending this past July, according to a preliminary estimate for July.

One issue may be that workers aren't changing jobs.