Hiring Slows, Unemployment Holds Steady in July

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Hiring Slows, Unemployment Holds Steady in JulyThe U.S. labor market remained strong in July despite a slowdown in hiring, with unemployment remaining level, according to Labor Department data released Friday.U.S. employers added 164,000 jobs in July while unemployment held steady at 3.7 percent. Wages grew more than expected, up 0.3 percent from June and 3.2 percent year over year. Labor-force participation increased to 63 percent, its highest level since March, as the total number of Americans in the workforce hit a record 163.4 million.Health care, professional and technical services, and manufacturing saw particular net job gains. 30,000 new workers were added to the health-care sector on the month, while 31,000 new workers joined the professional-and-technical-services sector and 16,000 new workers joined the manufacturing sector.The modest but promising report comes a day after the Trump administration further exacerbated trade tensions with China, threatening tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods. The U.S. already has a 25 percent tariff on about $250 billion of Chinese imports.However, the Federal Reserve earlier this week took out an insurance policy against a potential economic downturn, announcing its first interest-rate cut since December 2008, when the economy was in the midst of a crippling recession. The quarter-point rate cut came despite what the Fed called “moderate” growth and a “strong” labor market.

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