World Economy

US Labor Market Improving

US Labor Market ImprovingUS Labor Market Improving

The US economy added 255,000 jobs in July, as the unemployment rate held at 4.9%. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July US employment situation report.

The positive figure comes after the labor market faltered in May, adding only 11,000 jobs. Hiring rebounded in June with a net gain of 287,000, but recent economic figures and a faltering European economy had suggested another slowdown. Economists had expected a growth of about 180,000 jobs in July and for the unemployment rate to reach 4.8%, Yahoo Finance reported.

Alongside July’s strong growth both May and June’s reports were revised up. The Labor Department said the economy had added 18,000 more jobs over the two months than it had first calculated.

Hospitality and food, leisure, professional business services, financial activities and healthcare were the strongest sectors. The government added 38,000 jobs, a strong uptick after years of cuts. But from June to July the number of people working part-time but looking for full-time jobs increased by 100,000 from 5.84 million to 5.94 million.

The job figures are being closely monitored by the Federal Reserve as it weighs another interest rate hike. The Fed raised rates for the first time since the recession last December, but has since held off amid mounting economic uncertainty in Europe following Britain’s referendum vote to quit the European Union and continuing signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.