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Economy adds 209,000 jobs in July, beating expectations

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.3%. Economists were expecting 180,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.3%. Three takeaways:

  • Job growth for the first seven months of 2017 has averaged 167,000, slightly below the 2016 trend at this point last year of 184,00. Still, "employment growth remains strong enough to keep the unemployment trending down," 'High Frequency Economist' Jim O'Sullivan writes in a note to clients.
  • Wage growth grew slightly, but according to University of Michigan's Justin Wolfers, "not enough to generate any threat to the Fed's inflation target." The Fed will likely take this report as a cue to refrain from interest rate hikes.
  • The share of the unemployed who have been jobless for 27 weeks of more rose for the second straight month. The share of working-age Americans in the labor force was flat, suggesting the current healthy clip of jobs growth is not benefitting those at the labor market's outer edges.