US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate fell by one tenth of a percent in July, to3.9 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.3 percent a year ago in July 2017.

In July, the civilian labor force participation rate remained unchained, at 62.9 percent. The participation rate has remained fairly steady since October of 2013.

The employment-population ratio rose by one tenth of a percent in July, to 60.5 percent. The employment-population ratio has been trending upward since July 2011, when it hit a low of 58.2 percent.

The unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree ell by one tenth of a percent to 2.2 percent in July. It was 2.3 percent in July 2017.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 in July. The payroll employment numbers for both May and June 2018 were adjusted. Total employment gains for those months are now 59,000 more than previously reported. Considering these revisions, payroll employment gains have averaged 224,000 over the last three months.

Some details directly from the BLS report:


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in July, compared with an average monthly gain of 203,000 over the prior 12 months. In July, job gains occurred in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in July and has risen by 518,000 over the year. Over the month, employment edged up in temporary help services (+28,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+8,000).

Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs in July, with most of the gain in the durable goods component. Employment rose in transportation equipment (+13,000), machinery (+6,000), and electronic instruments (+2,000). Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 327,000 jobs.

In July, employment in health care and social assistance rose by 34,000. Health care employment continued to trend up over the month (+17,000) and has increased by 286,000 over the year. Hospitals added 7,000 jobs over the month. Within social assistance, individual and family services added 16,000 jobs in July and 77,000 jobs over the year.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+26,000). Over the year, the industry has added 203,000 jobs.

Construction employment continued to trend up in July (+19,000) and has increased by 308,000 over the year.

In July, employment in retail trade changed little (+7,000). Job gains occurred in general merchandise stores (+14,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+10,000), and food and beverage stores (+8,000). 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.

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in July, following an increase of 0.1 hour in June. In manufacturing, both the workweek and overtime were unchanged in July, at 40.9 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 33.8 hours.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $27.05. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $22.65 in July.