US employers slowed their hiring in July, adding 157,000 jobs, a solid gain but below the healthy pace in the first half of this year.
And although hiring overall slacked off some, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that trucking gained 4,400 jobs in July compared with June.
White unemployment also dropped in July-to 3.4 percent-a rate unseen since the Yankees and Mets faced off in the World Series finale (October 2000). Despite many company executives complaining that they can not find workers to fill open positions, wage growth remains sluggish. There are about 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the country. Last week, the commerce department reported that GDP had grown at an annual rate of 4.1% in the second quarter, the fastest pace in almost four years.
Since the beginning of this year, the USA has seen multiple economic milestones in addition to 1.5 million new jobs. Consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, more than the average wage gain.
The gain in payrolls was concentrated at private employers, which added 170,000 jobs, while the public sector cut 13,000 positions.
"Small business owners are continuing to show that they're looking to hire and willing to pay more to hire the right employees", NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg said.
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.
Following this latest solid jobs report, it remains likely that the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates two more times in 2018. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. Within social assistance, individual and family services added 16,000 jobs in July and 77,000 jobs over the year. The annual increase in wages was unchanged at 2.7 percent in July. There were declines in transport, utilities and financial payrolls last month.
"It is fantastic that at this point in a recovery you are seeing growth that is on average faster than the previous two years", she reportedly said.
"While this increased employment is undoubtedly good news, job growth exacerbates the monumental manufacturing workforce shortage", she said.