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U.S. adds fewer jobs than expected but preserves positive streak

The U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, but wage growth continued to lag behind inflation. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast 193,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.9%.

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The bottom line: The U.S. economy is still in the longest-ever streak of job growth. The Labor Department today also increased prior month estimates for job growth. "The reality is the economy is on a very strong trajectory," Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper tells CNBC. Yet a years-long wages slog for working America continues.

Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RMS: "While, the job gains are stout, we are growing increasingly concerned that average hourly earnings are simply not keeping up the pace of inflation. Given that, the consumer price index is up 2.9 percent over the past year it would be generous to describe inflation-adjusted gains as flat."

Ben Casselman of the New York Times:

University of Michigan Economist Justin Wolfers:

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