Economy adds 157,000 jobs in July

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The unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent, from 4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

Lower-skilled workers are also benefiting from companies' demand for labor. "It is awesome that at this point in a recovery you are seeing growth that is on average faster than the previous two years", she said.

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

Manufacturing employment continued to rise briskly, by 37,000 in July, in line with business optimism in the sector and on track to far outpace last year's 207,000 gain. These employment gains were offset by a decline of 32,000 in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores, reflecting job losses in hobby, toy, and game stores.

"If this was a prez [presidential election] year, these strong jobs reports would matter so much more for the elections", CNN election analyst Harry Enten said Friday on Twitter.

Gapen said he's optimistic that wage gains will pick up, ending the year at about a 3 percent increase.

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. The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen almost 13 per cent in the past year and now stands at 4.6 million.

Apple becomes world's first public company worth $1 trillion
Apple became the first $1 trillion on Thursday, briefy crossing the lofty mark in a closely-watched rise in stock market history. The company's fortunes were turbocharged by the launch of personal gadgets such as the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007.

Expectations were for the economy to add 193,000 jobs with the unemployment rate falling to 3.9%. "Those revisions give us 59,000 jobs added that we didn't know we had before". That is the fewest in 11 years and means part-time workers are getting more hours. Americans found the most jobs in the sectors of professional and business services, manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance.

With rising gas prices pushing up inflation, Americans actually saw their inflation-adjusted pay decrease in the past year.

During the same period, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index rose slightly more - 2.8 percent.

Transportation payrolls dropped by 1,300 jobs last month, with transit and ground transportation employment declining by 14,800 jobs.

The latest job figures follow a steady stream of hiring gains and a robust reading on economic growth.

One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Still, with unemployment at historically low levels and after a decade of steady job creation, employers across the United States complain of a widespread shortage of qualified labor and say they are struggling to fill open positions and being forced to offer higher compensation to attract and retain talent.

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