U.S. unemployment rate dips to 3.9%

Trade deficit increases

Economic indicators

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent in July, down from 4.0 percent in June, and the nation’s economy added 157,000 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average monthly job gain for the economy over the last 12 months is 203,000, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit increased in June, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The goods and services deficit was $46.3 billion in June, up $3.2 billion (or 7.4 percent) from $43.2 billion in May.

Previous job growth reports for the U.S. economy were revised upward by a total of 59,000. The nation’s economy added 268,000 jobs in May (up from the previous report of 244,000) and 248,000 in June (up from the previous report of 213,000), according to the BLS report.

“Since (President Donald Trump’s) election, 3.9 million jobs have been created,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in a statement. “This is only the eighth time that the monthly unemployment rate has fallen below 4.0 percent since 1970, and three of those months happened under President Trump in 2018 (it was at 3.9 percent in April and 3.8 percent in May). There is a record 156 million people in the labor force. Since President Trump’s election, more than one million prime-age people joined or rejoined the labor force. For the second consecutive month, the unemployment rate for Hispanics reached a record low.”

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) declined in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no change over the month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $27.05, according to the report. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.

“It is clear that wage growth must increase,” Acosta said. “Further wage increases will add a great benefit to the American workforce.”

The U.S. trade deficit rose for the first time in four months in June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report. Exports were $213.8 billion, $1.5 billion less than May exports. June imports were $260.2 billion, $1.6 billion more than May imports.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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