Speed Reads


U.S. economy added 218,000 jobs in July, survey says

Hot on the heels of news that the U.S. grew at a decent 4 percent annualized clip in the second quarter of 2014 comes news of strong job growth, too.

The U.S. economy added a decent 218,000 jobs in July according to a survey by the private firm ADP. That may have been down on the 281,000 added in June, but it still indicates that the economic recovery remains robust.

The job gains were across multiple industries. Construction added 12,000 workers. Retail, shipping, and utilities gained 52,000. Professional and business services gained 61,000. Manufacturing was the weakest sector, adding just 3,000 jobs.

"It feels to me like the job market is humming," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, told the Houston Chronicle.

That sounds about right. If the official government jobs numbers, due Friday, match up to ADP's figures, we could see a drop in unemployment to just 6 percent. While that isn't as low as the Federal Reserve would like to see — Janet Yellen is targeting an unemployment rate below 5.5 percent — it would be much closer to that level than the 9.9 percent unemployment seen in the depths of the recession in 2009.