Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


                              Statement of
                           William J. Wiatrowski
                            Acting Commissioner
                        Bureau of Labor Statistics

                          Friday, August 3, 2018


      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 in July, and the 
unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent. Job gains occurred 
in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in 
health care and social assistance.
      
      Incorporating revisions for May and June, which increased 
nonfarm payroll employment by 59,000, monthly job gains have 
averaged 224,000 over the past 3 months.
      
      Employment in professional and business services increased 
by 51,000 in July. Within the industry, employment edged up in 
temporary help services (+28,000) and in computer systems design 
and related services (+8,000). Over the year, professional and 
business services has added 518,000 jobs.
      
      Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs in July. Nearly all of the 
gain occurred in the durable goods component. Employment 
increased in transportation equipment (+13,000), machinery 
(+6,000), and electronic instruments (+2,000). Over the year, 
manufacturing has added 327,000 jobs, with four-fifths of the 
gain in durable goods industries. 
      
      Employment in health care and social assistance rose by 
34,000 in July. 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 in July. Within social 
assistance, employment in individual and family services 
increased by 16,000 over the month and by 77,000 over the year.
      
      Employment continued to trend up in food services and 
drinking places in July (+26,000); the industry has added 
203,000 jobs over the year. 
      
      In July, construction employment also continued on an 
upward trend (+19,000). The industry has added 308,000 jobs over 
the year. 
      
      Overall, employment in retail trade changed little in July 
(+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 in other major industries--mining, wholesale 
trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial 
activities, and government--showed little or no change in July. 
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 7 cents in July to $27.05. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.7 percent. 
From June 2017 to June 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.8 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).
      
      Turning now to data from our survey of households, the 
unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 
percent in July, and the number of unemployed people decreased 
by 284,000 to 6.3 million. These declines were concentrated 
among adult men and largely offset increases in the prior month. 
      
       Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the 
labor force fell by 287,000 to 1.8 million, following an 
increase in June. (Reentrants are people who previously worked 
but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job 
search.) The number of people searching for work for 27 weeks or 
more, at 1.4 million, was essentially unchanged in July; these 
long-term unemployed accounted for 22.7 percent of the total 
unemployed. 
      
      The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent in 
July, was unchanged over the month and over the year. The 
employment-population ratio, at 60.5 percent, changed little in 
July but has increased by 0.3 percentage point over the year. 
      
      Among the employed, the number of people working part time 
for economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was little changed in July at 4.6 million but was down 
by 669,000 over the year. 
      
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in July, 
1.5 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, numbered 512,000 in July, also 
little different from a year earlier. (People who are marginally 
attached to the labor force had not looked for work in the 4 
weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for 
work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.)
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 
in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent. 



The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: August 03, 2018