US Gains 209,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.3 Percent - NBC New York
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

US Gains 209,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.3 Percent

The hiring data points to a healthy economy despite some recent mixed signals and tepid growth in hourly pay

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count


    US Gains 209,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.3 Percent
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File
    This July 8, 2016, file photo shows a 'now hiring' sign in San Francisco, California.

    U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July, a second straight month of robust gains that underscore the economy's vitality as it enters a ninth year of expansion. 

    The unemployment rate slipped to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent, matching a 16-year low first reached in May, the Labor Department said Friday. 

    But growth in Americans' paychecks — a persistent weak spot since the recovery began in June 2009 — remains stubbornly slow. Average hourly pay rose by 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the same tepid annual pace as in June. That's below the 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical when the unemployment rate is this low. 

    Still, the hiring data points to a healthy economy despite some mixed signals in recent weeks. Employers appear to be optimistic about their businesses and future consumer demand. The solid job gains may also fuel greater consumer spending, which would bolster economic growth. 

    Hundreds Line Up at Amazon's Job Fair in New Jersey

    [NY] Hundreds Line Up at Amazon's Job Fair in New Jersey

    Hundreds lined up outside Amazon’s fulfillment center in New Jersey after the company announced a massive hiring spree. Rana Novini reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017)

    "The July jobs report is solid from top to bottom — with the caveat that wage growth, while stronger than expected, remains subdued," Andrew Hollenhorst, an economist at Citi. 

    President Donald Trump celebrated the report in a tweet shortly after the numbers were released. "Excellent Jobs Numbers," he wrote, "and I have only just begun." 

    Yet the pace of hiring so far this year is pretty much the same as it was last year under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama. Employers have added 184,000 jobs a month this year, compared with 187,000 in 2016. Monthly job gains topped 200,000 on average in 2014 and 2015. 

    Investors welcomed the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 43 points in mid-day trading. 

    Hiring was particularly strong in restaurants and bars, which added 53,100 jobs. Education and health care, which includes both higher-paying and lower-paying jobs, gained 54,000. 

    Manufacturers added a solid 16,000 jobs. Professional and business services, which includes mostly higher-paying jobs such as engineers, accountants and architects, added 49,000. 

    Democrats Release Memo to Counter GOP's FBI Claims

    [NY] Democrats Release Memo to Counter GOP's FBI Claims

    A redacted, declassified memo released by Democrats on the House intelligence committee Saturday aims to counter a narrative that Republicans on the committee have pushed for months — that the FBI and Justice Department conspired against President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, abusing a secret surveillance process to spy on one of his operatives in its Russia investigation. Checkey Beckford reports.

    (Published Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018)

    Retail jobs were mostly unchanged, as brick and mortar shops continue to struggle. Yet transportation and wahrehousing, which has been boosted in recent years by the rapid growth of e-commerce, also barely added jobs. 

    The solid job market is also reflected in recent corporate moves. Amazon held a nationwide "hiring day" Wednesday in an effort to fill 50,000 jobs. And President Donald Trump has highlighted announcements by Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn and carmakers Toyota and Mazda to open plants in the U.S. 

    Other recent economic reports had sent mixed signals. Americans are buying homes at a healthy pace, but car sales have fallen off. Factory production is expanding modestly, but a report Thursday pointed to slower growth among services firms, such as retailers, banks and construction companies. Consumers also turned cautious in June and barely raised their spending compared with May. 

    The economy expanded at a healthy 2.6 percent annual pace in the April-June quarter, up from an anemic 1.2 percent in the first three months of the year. Still, that leaves the growth at about 2 percent in the first half of the year, the same modest pace of growth the U.S. has experienced since the Great Recession.