The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly job report on Friday morning and showed continued improvement, adding 209,000 non-farm jobs across the US. The strongest industry gainer was professional and business services, followed by manufacturing, retail, and construction respectively.
And while the jobs report was slightly lower than economist expectations of 230,000, the July jobs report marked the strongest six months of hiring since 2006, and marks the first time since 1997 that the economy has added 200,000 or more jobs in six straight months.
Further adding to the upward trajectory of the jobs market, the labor force participation rate grew slightly from 62.8% to 62.9%. The reintroduction of workers who had previously stopped looking caused the unemployment rate to tick up to 6.2%– up from 6.1%– but average hourly earnings only rose 1 cent in July.
The report comes after better than expected GDP data was released on Wednesday, showing that the US economy grew at a 4% annualized rate in the second quarter of the year.