US : Strong economy adds 255,000 jobs in July
America’s job market remains one of the few bright spots in the economy. The U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%. It far surpassed expectations of economists surveyed by CNNMoney, who had predicted a gain of 182,000 jobs.
So far this year, America has added about 1.3 million jobs. That’s a healthy improvement but still a slightly slower pace than last year, when it had gained about 1.6 million jobs by this point. Job gains for May and June were revised up a bit too.
Wage growth continued to show signs of more momentum. Wages grew 2.6% compared to the same time a year ago.That’s better than last year but still low: Prior to the recession, wages were growing at between 3% and 3.5%. It’s one of the last areas of the economy to really turn in the right direction, and a major reason why American don’t feel great about the economic recovery.
Outside the job market, warning signs are flashing. U.S. growth has been weak this year, averaging 1% in the first half. Many American companies, such as Ford, Kate Spade and Office Depot, have reported disappointing earnings.
Americans are still spending at some stores and restaurants, but businesses have pulled back significantly. The decline in business spending is a key reason why growth is so low.
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