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Under the graphic paste -> Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in July — right in line with economists' expectations of 165,000 jobs— the Labor Department said on Friday, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

Why it matters: The labor market is still the standout of the record long economic expansion, although cracks are beginning to show. The pace of job growth is slowing down, as the government revised its previous predictions to show that the market had added 41,000 fewer jobs than initially estimated over the last two months.

Details:

  • Wages grew at an annualized pace of 3.2% in July — a slightly higher pace than the 3.1% in June — but still were sluggish compared to the pick-up earlier in this economic cycle and in previous cycles. This is an odd dynamic, considering how low the unemployment rate is.
  • Job gains were most pronounced in July for the health care, financial and technology sectors.
  • The manufacturing sector added 16,000 jobs last month— the second straight month of solid gains after a bout of weak hiring. But, as Marketwatch notes, employers are cutting back on hours: the manufacturing workweeks in July was the shortest in 8 years.

What's next: The state of the jobs market is solid but cooling, and a heightened trade war might not help. The Fed, though, has signaled that it's closely watching the trade dynamics and ratcheted up tensions could be enough of a catalyst for another rate cut.

Go deeper: The forever trade war

Go deeper

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Ina Fried, author of Login
44 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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